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Haldon Range Dam earthquake damage, New Zealand, London

Event organised by The British Dam Society

21 November 2016

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The Haldon Range Dam, located in the district of Marlborough, New Zealand was a 250,000 cubic metre storage capacity, privately owned, recently constructed earth dam for irrigation water storage and supply purposes. The region is New Zealand's premier area for Sauvignon Blanc wine production, well liked in the UK and contributing 75% of the total NZ production.

The region borders the North and South Islands and geology that has created the favourable conditions for wine is also part of the Marlborough Fault System, a set of four large dextral strike-slip faults and other related structures, which transfer displacement (avg. 40mm/year) between the Alpine fault and the Kermadec Trench, which together form the boundary between the Indo-Australian and Pacific Plates.

The Haldon Range Dam was impacted and damaged by two major seismic events, first in July 2013 (0.2g, 6.5 Richter), then again in August 2013 (0.75g, 6.6 Richter). Craig was requested by the regional dam regulator and emergency civil defence authority to inspect the dam after each event and recommend actions, if necessary, to protect the village of Seddon located downstream.

Craig's recommendation post the August inspection was an immediate lowering of the reservoir water level to reduce the risk and impacts of a potential dam breach. The dam had no low level outlet to achieve the lowering and substantial works were required which took a week post event to complete.

The presentation will have a core focus on his actions to lower the reservoir, and an introspective personnel commentary on the interactions of Craig and others during the week it took to lower the reservoir level including regulators, owners, consultants, lawyers, media, and emergency services etc.

Craig will aim to frankly inform the audience of his personnel experience in decision making during an emergency event, recommending and managing a dam and reservoir during an emergency drawdown.

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This event is being broadcast online. Please join the lecture 10 minutes before the start time of 6pm.

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For more information please contact:

Tim Fuller