Paradise Dam Options Assessment released

25 March 2020

Building Queensland has today released a report assessing the long-term options for Paradise Dam. The Paradise Dam Options Assessment responds to the Queensland Government’s request for Building Queensland to assess long-term options to ensure water security for future economic growth and to maintain community safety.

Released this morning during a teleconference with the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy the Hon. Dr Anthony Lynham, Sunwater and members of the Burnett Catchment Industry Forum and Community Reference Group, the Options Assessment has identified what is required to establish the best long-term outcome for the dam.

Building Queensland’s Options Assessment recommends further technical investigations, structural testing and sampling be undertaken in conjunction with the essential works already underway by Sunwater. This further work includes:

  • development of a 3D geological model and geotechnical assessment of the dam foundations
  • further sampling and testing of the primary spillway’s roller compacted concrete
  • an anchoring trial to confirm existing dam foundation capacity
  • the refinement of option designs and cost ranges using this updated information.

The findings from these investigations will be used to inform preliminary designs and cost estimates for three options:

  • maintain the primary spillway height at the level of the essential works (nominally 5 metres below the existing spillway level prior to essential works)
  • raise the primary spillway height to an optimal level (up to the existing spillway level prior to the essential works) and explore alternative water supply options
  • lower the primary spillway height to an optimal level (down to a maximum of 10 metres below the existing spillway level prior to essential works) and explore alternative water supply options.

Dam decommissioning is not recommended.

In parallel, and in consultation with local stakeholders, Sunwater will continue to refine and validate a range of alternative supply options, while Building Queensland undertakes a further detailed demand assessment and further investigates the yield required to meet water security expectations.

These investigations will be undertaken as a matter of priority, allowing the Queensland Government to determine the best options for Paradise Dam.

The Paradise Dam Options Assessment incorporates the Building Queensland Summary Report and supporting reports from our independent advisors. The Options Assessment was informed by a design, cost and risk review of Sunwater’s technical information and an independent definition of service needs, assessment of future water demand, and the multi-criteria assessment of several options.

A high-level review of Economic Costs of Inaction on Paradise Dam report is also provided.

View the reports.

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