Aerial view of Wivenhoe Dam and gates

Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project

Wivenhoe Dam is one of several dams to be upgraded as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program. Wivenhoe Dam is the main drinking water source for South East Queensland, in addition to providing flood mitigation benefits. The dam plays an important role in the SEQ Water Grid, and its continued performance and safety is critical to the region.

The dam improvement project will ensure the dam continues to operate safely in extreme weather events and provides water security for years to come.

Hide    Show   
Home What We're Doing Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project

About the project

Planning is underway on the Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project, with the project currently in Options Analysis phase.

As Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams operate as one system for both water supply and flood mitigation, the outcomes of the Somerset Dam Improvement Project will inform considerations for Wivenhoe Dam. A detailed business case for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project is being prepared and will then be submitted for government approvals.

Major dam upgrades are extremely complex and take years to plan to ensure the best design and constructability option is determined to meet the project objectives and value for money.

We are committed to keeping the community informed and will provide further information as planning progresses.

Reduced full supply level 

While planning is underway, Wivenhoe Dam will continue operating at a reduced full supply level of 90%.

Lowering water levels is an industry-accepted practice to manage dam safety and demonstrates our commitment to the ongoing safety of dam infrastructure. South East Queensland has a safe, reliable, and resilient water supply system, stemming from careful and ongoing water security planning and a diverse asset base which allows Seqwater to supplement supply in a timely way when needed.

The reduced level does not significantly impact the long-term water supply security for the region. Periodic reviews will continue until the dam is upgraded to ensure dam safety, water supply and long-term water security are appropriately managed.

  • FAQs
  • Why does Wivenhoe Dam need to be upgraded?

    Wivenhoe Dam is one of several dams to be upgraded as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program. Like all major infrastructure, dams are regularly assessed and upgraded to comply with improvements to engineering standards and guidelines. Seqwater is required to comply with the Queensland Dam Safety Guidelines under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.

    Wivenhoe Dam was built between 1977 and 1984. Since then, there have been significant changes including:

    • population growth downstream 
    • advances in dam design 
    • improved estimation of extreme rainfall and flood events 
    • improved understanding of earthquake probabilities and loads.
    What will the upgrade look like?

    The Options Analysis for Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project is underway. Seqwater is considering a number of options which will achieve the objectives required of the dam improvement project to meet regulatory requirements. We are working to identify which option represents the best investment for the people of Queensland.

    When will the upgrade happen?

    The Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project is currently in the planning phase. As Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams operate as one system for both water supply and flood mitigation, the outcomes of the Somerset Dam Improvement Project will inform final considerations for Wivenhoe.

    Major dam upgrades are extremely complex and can take years to plan to ensure the best option to both meet the project objectives and deliver value for money.

Newsletter subscription