Seqwater is confident its management of Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the January 2011 flood will be vindicated by the NSW Supreme Court.
We have never wavered from our belief that our flood engineers did an extraordinary job in the most difficult and demanding circumstances. This position has not changed.
The January 2011 event was one of the most damaging and extreme natural flood disasters ever experienced in our region. Wivenhoe Dam received inflows much greater than the 1974 flood.
The January flood event, while devastating to many South East Queenslanders, was a consequence of extremely heavy rainfall across the catchments upstream and downstream of the Wivenhoe Dam and not the operation of the dams.
The magnitude of the rainfall meant it was inevitable that Brisbane would flood. The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study in 2016 assessed the dam operations reduced flooding by about three metres at Ipswich and Moggill and two metres at Brisbane City.
Our operation of the dams and the release strategies adopted by our engineers significantly mitigated the flood.
It was appropriate, given the scale and impact of the event, that our management of the event was subjected to scrutiny and assessment. The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry made no finding of negligence against Seqwater. The Commission’s own expert concluded that, in the circumstances, our engineers had achieved close to the best possible mitigation result.
Seqwater remains acutely aware of the impact of the January 2011 event. We understand this in a very real way. Many of our people live and work in impacted communities and played active roles in the recovery.
We remain confident that our operation of Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the January 2011 event will continue to be shown to have significantly reduced the impact of the flood as the court process progresses.