Melbourne’s water supply system includes dams and storage reservoirs. Greenvale Reservoir was built from 1968 to 1972 and Upper Yarra Reservoir was finished in 1957. Both are embankment dams. It is important to consider and adopt new knowledge when taking a proactive approach to managing existing assets.
Melbourne Water’s dam safety program includes risk assessments, investigations, capital and operational improvements, surveillance regimes and emergency preparedness. Our program follows the good practice framework set out by the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) as required by our Statement of Obligations.
A 2018 collaborative research project resulted in an improved understanding of the phenomenon of internal erosion in embankment dams and general erosion in unlined spillways. As the project progressed, Melbourne Water, as a project partner, was able to access this new and important knowledge. Even though it will take some time for the project’s research outcomes to be incorporated into new or updated standards or guidelines, Melbourne Water is ensuring the continued delivery of timely dam safety improvements that can be considered ‘state of the art’ in the industry.