In 2012-13, we commissioned an independent review of our 26 referable dams, which found improvements are needed at a number of our dams to meet the Queensland dam safety guidelines into the future.
We have prioritised a program of dam upgrades in a staged approach to give us time to scope, design and plan, while maintaining public safety, security of water supply and delivering best value for money.
Cooloolabin Dam upgrade
The assessment at Cooloolabin Dam identified a significant upgrade (about $28 million) would be required to meet the relevant dam safety guidelines. We have prioritised a program of dam upgrades in a staged approach to give us time to scope, design and plan, while maintaining public safety, security of water supply and delivering the best value for money.
As a short term solution, the water level at the dam was operationally lowered in 2013. In late 2015, a slot was cut in the centre of the spillway to maintain the lower water level for the medium term and delay the need for a significant upgrade. A partial upgrade was undertaken in late 2017 which involved the construction of filter buttresses on both spillway abutments and a lower section of Saddle Dam A.
Lowering water levels is an industry-accepted practice to best manage the safety of dams either temporarily or in the long term. Lowering the water level in a dam reduces water pressure and loads on the dam wall, and can also create temporary storage to increase its capacity to mitigate floods.
We undertook a partial upgrade in late 2017 which has now been completed.
The recent upgrade involved construction of a filter buttress to reinforce the embankments on either side of the dam’s spillway and the lower part of the largest saddle dam.
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