Appropriate setback distances near dams
The guidance note is an aid to planning practitioners, developers, dam owners and regulators in ensuring an appropriate setback distance is maintained between a dam and new development or dam construction. The purpose of the setback is to provide an accessible zone from the dam in the event of a dam safety incident or emergency, ongoing maintenance and safety management and space to implement dam safety upgrade works.
Using rainfall forecasts to make releases from dams
The guideline will assist dam owners in setting policies and procedures to utilise rainfall forecasts in making flow release decisions. The guideline considers relevant legislation and regulatory requirements, flood forecasting systems, seasonal target curves, pre-releases and emerging practices for informed decision making that will assist dam owners to consider a broad range of forecasting approaches during the management of floods.
- Guideline for the use of rainfall forecasts to make releases from dams in Victoria (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- Accessible version (DOCX, 3.4 MB)
Engaging communities on dam safety – a guide for dam owners
Engaging communities on dam safety – A guide for dam owners aims to assist dam owners to incorporate community engagement into dam safety management.
The guide provides engagement principles for all dam owners to consider. Some water corporations have generously shared their experiences in engagement in the guide.
The guide refers to the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) model for engagement.
Engaging communities on dam safety – A guide for dam owners (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Engaging communities on dam safety – A guide for dam owners (accessible) (DOCX, 1.1 MB)
Decommissioning dams – a guide for dam owners
As dams age and require significant upgrades or when alternative cost-effective water supply arrangements are identified, decommissioning a dam can become a viable alternative. This document outlines good practice measures when making a case to decommission a dam, while identifying the needs of communities. The guide provides a number of case studies along with some lessons learnt.
Decommissioning dams - A guide for dam owners (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Decommissioning dams - A guide for dam owners (accessible) (DOCX, 19.1 MB)
'Your dam, your responsibility'
The booklets Your dam your responsibility and Dam safety emergency plan have been produced to help dam owners (including farm dam owners) to understand their responsibilities for planning, designing, operating and maintaining farms dams on their properties.
Your dam your responsibility (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Dam safety emergency plan (PDF, 158.3 KB)
Dam safety emergency plan – template for local government authorities
This Dam Safety Emergency Plan (DSEP) template has been developed as a guide for local government authorities in preparing a DSEP for a dam they own. The template is structured to provide general information about the dam and action to be taken during an incident. The template is better suited for owners of smaller dams.
Dam safety emergency plan - template for local government authorities (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Dam safety emergency plan - template for local government authorities (accessible) (DOCX, 2.1 MB)
Consequence screening tool
The Consequence Screening Tool for Small Dams has been developed to simplify assigning consequence categories to small dams. It consists of explanatory notes and a spreadsheet.
The tool is broadly consistent with the Initial Consequence Assessment level of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Guidelines on the Consequence Categories for Dams 2012.
The consequence category obtained using the screening tool provides a basis for identifying the dam safety management requirements of small dams that require a licence under section 67 of the Water Act 1989 but are of low hazard.
Where the screening tool assesses that a dam may potentially pose a risk to downstream communities, the owner of the dam will be required to engage a suitably qualified engineer to undertake a more detailed consequence category assessment of the dam. The dam owner should also seek the assistance of the engineer to develop and implement a dam safety management program.
Consequence screening tool guidelines (PDF, 847.2 KB)
Consequence screening tool guidelines (accessible) (DOC, 3.0 MB)
Consequence Screening Tool for Small Dams (Excel, 532.5 KB)
Dam Safety Surveillance Plan
The Dam Safety Surveillance Plan has been prepared to assist small dam owners to meet their obligations under licence conditions. This plan provides details of how the owner of a small dam can monitor and evaluate its performance. It is applicable to very low, low or significant consequence category dams as defined in Australian National Committee on Large Dams Guidelines.
Dam Safety Surveillance (PDF, 453.6 KB)
Dam Safety Surveillance (accessible) (DOCX, 1.3 MB)
Water corporation dams
Guidance note on dam safety decision principles
The Guidance note on dam safety decision principles aims to help dam owners and managers make key dam safety investment decisions. It provides guidance on reducing risks to dam safety through focussed and proportionate investment. It aims to promote transparent decision-making processes for making efficient
The Guidance note supplements existing guiding documentation, including the regulatory instruments, Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated (ANCOLD) guidelines and other publications. While primarily directed towards Victorian water corporations, many of the principles outlined in this
document are relevant to other owners and managers of potentially hazardous dams.
Recent updates to the Guidance note include:
- A new section on investment decision making which provides guidance on a transparent and structured investment decision making approach that is "whole of organisation"; and
- The need for dam owners and managers to keep good records of all options considered in their decision making processes as an integral part of due diligence obligations.
Guidance note on dam safety decision principles (updated March 2015) (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Guidance note on dam safety decision principles (updated March 2015) (accessible) (DOCX, 2.0 MB)
Page last updated: 27/09/22