Paradise Dam Improvement Project

Paradise Dam is located approximately 20 kilometres northwest of Biggenden and 80 kilometres south-west of Bundaberg on the Burnett River. It is a key component of the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme. During the 2013 floods, extensive scour occurred downstream of the primary spillway. Sunwater immediately repaired the scour and downstream toe of the dam, and investigated options to prevent scour occurring in future extreme weather events.

Building Queensland, in partnership with Sunwater and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, is leading the development of a detailed business case investigating an upgrade of the Paradise Dam to comply with the provisions of the Australian National Committee for Large Dams (ANCOLD) and Queensland guidelines on acceptable flood capacity. The business case will also investigate options to ensure adequate and secure water supply to support regional growth in Bundaberg and the surrounding region.

The detailed business case builds on the Paradise Dam Options Assessment completed by Building Queensland in February 2020.

The detailed business case will be delivered in two stages:

  • Stage 1—further investigations and recommendations about the preferred options
  • Stage 2—recommendations for an investment decision.

Key activities to be undertaken during this stage of the detailed business case include:

  • geotechnical investigations and 3D geological modelling of the dam foundations
  • sampling and testing of the roller compacted concrete in the primary spillway
  • anchoring trials to confirm the capacity of the foundations
  • detailed demand assessment and water resources assessment, including assessment of various other investigations relevant to the dam
  • refinement of the concept designs for the options identified in the Options Assessment.

These activities will be supported by independent technical peer reviews.

Extensive market engagement will be undertaken as part of the detailed demand assessment. Building Queensland and Sunwater will also continue to engage with stakeholders through the various groups established by Sunwater such as the Paradise Dam Industry Forum and associated working groups and the Paradise Dam Community Reference Group. These groups have been established to share information about the Paradise Dam Essential Works and to seek feedback on opportunities to deliver water security in the region.

Stage 2 will see the completion of a detailed business case in alignment with Building Queensland’s Business Case Development Framework. The scope of these activities will be confirmed following completion of Stage 1 activities.

More information

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