“We have made the decision to reassess the project investment during the first half of this year,” he said.
“The ongoing safety of Lake Macdonald Dam and water security for South East Queensland are key priorities for Seqwater but we must also make sure the project investment is prudent.
“Importantly Lake Macdonald continues to operate safely.’’
Mr Brennan said Seqwater would keep the Noosa community informed as the assessment progressed in the coming months.
“If there are any substantial changes to the scope of the project we will consult the Noosa community,” he said.
As a result of this assessment, the lowering of the lake will now not proceed in 2021 given strict environmental approval conditions that contain the de-watering between March and August so as to avoid the wet season and aquatic breeding.
Mr Brennan said the upgrade of Noosa’s Lake Macdonald Dam was a high priority project under Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program.
“While it may be a small dam the upgrade is complex with a range of requirements to consider so we achieve positive safety, operational, cost, environmental, and community outcomes.”
Mr Brennan thanked the Noosa community on behalf of Seqwater for its support of the project to date.
“I know this decision may inconvenience those who have been or were expected to be impacted by the project construction,” he said.
“I thank the Noosa community for their patience as we continue to work towards reaching the best option for this high priority project.”
Work on the new bridge to the Noosa Water Treatment Plant is temporarily suspended due to current wet weather forecasts but will be restarted in May 2021.
Lake Macdonald Dam is located in the Noosa hinterland near Cooroy and is part of South East Queensland’s drinking water supply through the SEQ Water Grid.
The dam was built in 1965 and raised in 1980 to increase its storage capacity to 8,018 megalitres. The dam is currently at 103.9% capacity.
As part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program, upgrades have already been completed on Wappa and Cooloolabin Dams on the Sunshine Coast, with upgrades also well underway at Ewen Maddock Dam.