In NSW, a Dam Failure Practical Emergency Exercise is a statutory requirement under the Dams Safety Regulation, Part 6, Section 22, Emergency Exercises. It is a requirement that the owner of an Extreme or High Consequence Category “declared dam” must carry out a desktop exercise every 3 years (Clause (1)) and a practical emergency exercise (Clause (3)) at least once every 5 years. Clause (4) requires the practical exercise to involve staff who are involved in the operation of the dam and – as far as practicable – any emergency agencies that are identified in the Dam Safety Emergency Plan.
Similar requirements exist in Queensland where all “referable dams” must have an approved emergency action plan (EAP) in place under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008. Other states and territories have their own dam safety requirements. Dam owners are responsible for carrying out, and reporting on, the investigation, design, construction, and safety review of their assets. They need to ensure that they prepare and regularly update operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals and dam safety emergency plans (DSEP).
Graham A Brown and Associates can assist with the facilitation of the Practical Emergency Exercise or any desktop exercises conducted by the owner of an Extreme or High Consequence Category declared dam. Our consultants have experience in the facilitation process and can assist the responsible personnel to design, plan and conduct the exercise, and provide an independent final report that satisfies the requirements of the regulator to whom the report must be provided. It is essential that the client has had dambreak studies conducted prior to the emergency exercise being conducted, including for a Sunny Day Failure and a Flood Failure. The final report can assess if the objectives were met in accordance with Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, Handbook 3 – Managing Exercises.
Our consultants are highly qualified and experienced practitioners who are familiar with dam operations especially in the power generation industry (water storage and ash dams) and the mining industry (water storage and tailings dams). Facilitation includes site inspections of the dam(s) under consideration and the provision by the client of required documents and references prior to the practical emergency exercise, enabling the facilitators to become familiar with client and regulatory documentation and prepare the emergency exercise documentation.
Facilitation on the day includes the preparation of a timetable to ensure that the practical emergency exercise is completed on time, and that all the facilities required are in place to enable communication with internal and external participants and the conduct of the exercise in accordance with the client’s documented procedures.