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Growing community developments causing 'hazard creep' downstream of farm dams - A simple and cost-effective tool to help land planners appraise flood safety

Growing community developments causing 'hazard creep' downstream of farm dams - A simple and cost-effective tool to help land planners appraise flood safety

Safety Science 97: 58-72

Communities downstream of on-farm dams are growing as are the flood hazards and safety threats they live under. This threat exists in Australia and elsewhere due to a need for adequate integration of land use planning and dam safety assurance policy, which is key to saving lives, public and private property and the environment downstream from dam failure. Thus, this paper considers the interrelated responsibility, cost-sharing and engineering issues associated with providing such integrated policy to mitigate dam failure threats to downstream land developments. A cost-effective flood safety engineering/planning tool is developed which involved generating complex catchment data in Australia to represent 'hydrologically homogenous' regions using best-practice water engineering methods, to in turn derive simple regionalised dam flood capability prediction relationships of acceptable accuracy. Results demonstrate the tool's successful development and potential transferability to a wide range of hydrology-variant regions and how it can link to and be applied within international best practice, integrated dam safety assurance and land planning policy. Resulting policy guidance and tool can help jurisdictions worldwide address the flood risks associated with farm dams and growing downstream land developments: by helping planners, developers, farmers and regulators account for and address the responsibility and cost sharing issues in a way that is uniform and fair for all stakeholders involved. Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Accession: 066336732

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2016.07.020

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