The dams safety legislation requires all declared dam owners to publish an Annual Dams Safety Standard Report for their dam.
Section 14 (4) of the Dams Safety Act 2015 requires a declared dam owner to publish a report demonstrating the owner’s compliance with the dams safety standards.
Clause 26 of the Dams Safety Regulation 2019 (the Regulation) requires the dam owner to provide a copy of the report to Dams Safety NSW, in a form approved by Dams Safety NSW.
What is the purpose of the Annual Dams Safety Standards Report?
The Annual Dams Safety Standards Report is the way a dam owner’s ‘accountable office holder’ attests to the dam owner’s level of compliance with the dams safety standards prescribed in the Dams Safety Regulation 2019. The report also provides important information to Dams Safety NSW to enable us to prioritise our compliance activities.
Key points about the report are:
- the declared dam owner must publish a report every year
- the declared dam owner must demonstrate compliance with the dams safety standards in the report
- the dams safety standards prescribed in the Dams Safety Regulation 2019 are:
- Part 3 ‘Consequence Category of dam’
- Part 5 ‘Dam safety management system’
- Part 6 ‘Other safety requirements’
- the report must be in a form approved by Dams Safety NSW
- the dam owner must make the report available at the owner’s main office and on the owner’s website
- the report must be submitted to Dams Safety NSW.
When is my Annual Dams Safety Standards Report due?
Declared dam owners must lodge a separate report for each of their declared dams with Dams Safety NSW by 31 March every year.
The report covers the period 1 January to 31 December of the previous calendar year.
What is the approved form for the report and how do I submit it to Dams Safety NSW?
Declared dam owners are to complete the online form.
Once completed and submitted, you will receive an email with an unsigned pdf copy of your Annual Dams Safety Standards Report. The pdf report then needs to be signed by the dam owner office holder(s). A digital signature can be used. Once the report is signed, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March.
Who is the 'accountable office holder'? In other words, who needs to sign off the Annual Dams Safety Standards Report?
There are many different types of declared dams owners in NSW, from single private owners to large public companies, state-owned corporations, and government departments.
The office holder(s) accountable for the safety of a declared dam must sign off on the dams safety standards report. The following table shows the office holder(s) who must demonstrate compliance with the dams safety standards by testifying to the accuracy of the report.
|Organisation type||Dam owner office holders|
|Local council||General Manager|
|Statutory state-owned corporations||Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director responsible for the day-to-day management of the operation of the statutory state-owned corporation in accordance with the general policies and specific directions of the board.|
Corporation with two or more members - the president, chairperson or other principal officer of the corporation
Sole corporation - the person by whom the constitution is constituted
Corporation with no members - the person managing the affairs of the corporation
What should a declared dam owner do to demonstrate compliance and ensure the accuracy of the report?
The Dams Safety Act 2015 requires that the Annual Dams Safety Standards Report demonstrates the owner’s compliance with the dams safety standards.
Declared dam owners will answer specific questions in the report form to demonstrate compliance and attest to its accuracy by signing the report.
If a dam owner owns more than one dam, does each dam require a separate report?
Yes. A report needs to be completed for each declared dam, as most of the information required in the report is specific to a particular dam.
Dams Safety NSW acknowledges that some dam owners may have a common dam safety management system for a portfolio of dams, and may carry out emergency exercises on a portfolio basis, so some of the information in each dam of the reports may need to be duplicated. However, for completeness of information a report is required for each declared dam.
How will Dams Safety NSW use the information in the reports?
The Annual Dams Safety Standards report provides important information to Dams Safety NSW to allow us to prioritise compliance activities.
It is important that dam owners provide accurate information in the report. Dams Safety NSW employs a graduated and proportionate approach to non-compliance and will work with dam owners to address any non-compliances that may be identified through the reporting process.
Information that will be included in the Annual Dams Safety Standards Report
- Dam name and location
- Type of dam (concrete arch, embankment etc.)
- Main purpose of dam (water supply, irrigation, etc.)
- Dam owner (and ACN)
- Website address
- Name of contact person (Regulation Part 6) (phone number, email address)
Dams safety standard
Part 3 Dam consequence category
- Consequence category of the dam
- Date of last consequence category assessment by a competent person (if known) (Regulation, clause 7(1))
- For an extreme or high consequence category dam – if a review of the consequence category assessment has been done, the name of the reviewer
- Date next consequence category assessment planned
- Has the number of people likely to be affected by a dam failure changed since the last consequence category review?
- How was this checked?
Part 5 Dam safety management system
Clause 12 Must establish and implement dam safety management system
- Name of individual responsible for ensuring compliance with dam safety management system (and email address)
- Is the dam safety management system fully documented? (Regulation, clause 13)
- Does the dam safety management system apply to more than one dam?
- Is the dam safety management system fully implemented? (Regulation clause 12(1
Clause 17 Review
- Have you done a review of your dam safety management system?(Regulation, clause 17)
- Date of review
Clause 15 Assessment of societal and individual risk rating
- Is your dam above the safety threshold? (Regulation, clause 15(4))
- Date of last risk report, if known (Regulation, clause 15(1))
- Individual risk rating of the dam, if known (Regulation, clause 15(3))
- Societal risk rating of the dam, if known (Regulation, clause 15(3))
- Date of next planned risk report
- Name of competent person and their organisation who signed off the risk report (if risk report commenced after 1 July 2022)
- Name of independent competent person and their organisation who reviewed the report (if risk report commenced after 1 July 2022 - for an extreme, high A or high B consequence dam)
Part 6 Other safety requirements
Clause 19 Incident reporting
- Number of incidents during the 2022 calendar year (Regulation, clause 19)
- Incident(s) topic/subject
Clause 20 Safety Review
- Date of last safety review, if known (Regulation, clause 20(2))
- Planned date for next safety review
- Name of independent competent reviewer of the Safety Review and their organisation (If the consequence category is high C, the safety review must be reviewed by an independent competent person - Regulation, subclause 20(6A))
- Names of independent competent reviewers of the Safety Review and their organisation (If the consequence category is extreme, high A or high B, the safety review must be reviewed by a panel of at least 2 independent competent persons. (Regulation, subclause 20(6)) - If Safety Review commenced after 1 July 2022 – if before that, a single independent person)
Clause 21 Notification of significant changes to dam
- Has any significant change to the configuration of the dam been made during the 2022 calendar year? (Regulation, clause 21)
- Is any significant change to the configuration of the dam planned?
Clause 22 Emergency exercises
- Have you done a ‘theoretical classroom’ emergency exercise?(Regulation, clause 22(1))
- Planned date of next 'theoretical classroom' emergency exercise
- Have you done a practical emergency exercise (for extreme or high consequence dams only)? (Regulation, clause 22(3))
- Planned date of next practical emergency exercise (for extreme or high consequence dams only) (Regulation, clause 22(3))
The following questions are for dams in the design/ construction/ commissioning/ decommissioning phase
- Does the dam safety management system cover dam design and construction? (Regulation, clause 12(3))
- Was the risk management framework used or is currently being used to prepare a risk report at the dam design stage? (Regulation, clause 15(2))
Clause 23 Certain work to be carried out by a person subject to quality management system
- How have you ensured that design and construction are carried out by a person subject to an AS ISO 9001:2016 quality management system? (Regulation, clause 23(1))
Clause 24 Competent person must check work involving dam design
- For high C consequence dams, or if design commenced before 1 July 2002, for extreme, high A and high B consequence dams, provide the name of the independent person and their organisation who reviewed or are reviewing the design (Regulation, clause 24)
- If design commenced after 1 July 2022, for extreme, high A and high B consequence dams, provide the names of the panel of independent persons and their organisations who reviewed or are reviewing the design (Regulation, clause 24)
- For dams still in an early design phase, have you planned an independent competent person design review?
Additional information for Dams Safety NSW
- Date of last Emergency Plan review
- Date of last Operations and Maintenance Plan review
- Did you publish last year's Annual Dams Safety Standards Report on your website?
For more information Contact us.