Most of our drinking water comes from 12 key dams in the SEQ Water Grid, with Somerset and Wivenhoe dams playing a vital role, supplying about 40% of our drinking water.
Somerset Dam feeds into Wivenhoe Dam and the two dams are operated as one system. While both dams continue to operate safely, we are in the early stages of planning upgrades to ensure the dams serve us well into the future.
Dam upgrades are prioritised across the region in a staged program that is scoped and scheduled to maintain water supply security, while delivering best value for money.
Somerset Dam upgrade
Somerset Dam is one of a number of dams identified for upgrade in the next six years.
In 2018, we will continue geotechnical investigations at Somerset and the preliminary design to identify the preferred upgrade option. Once the preferred option is determined, we will start preparing the detailed design. At this stage, construction is expected to start by 2021.
The preferred Somerset Dam upgrade option will impact and influence the final decision on the Wivenhoe Dam upgrade.
Wivenhoe Dam upgrade
Planning for the Wivenhoe Dam upgrade is in the early stages and it will be at least two years before a decision is made on the preferred upgrade option.
In planning the upgrade, we need to consider the safety and integrity of the dam structure, the security of our drinking water supply, and the potential for further flood mitigation. The benefits and costs of about 50 different options will be explored, including consideration of options to increase the height of the dam wall to improve flood mitigation downstream.
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