More Paradise water available as dam investigations continue
All the water sitting in Paradise Dam will be prioritised for existing customers, including Burnett farmers, while more work is done to identify a long-term solution.
For 2020-21 Sunwater will change the water-sharing rules* to make more water available and give growers certainty.
Water will also continue to be free whenever Sunwater has to release water to keep the dam at 42 per cent for safety reasons.
In the meantime, Building Queensland will continue its analysis after its initial report said further investigation was required before it could advise government on a long-term spillway height for the dam.
The Building Queensland report released today recognised the significance of agricultural production to the region and has ruled out Paradise Dam being decommissioned.
The Building Queensland Paradise Dam Options Assessment report says further investigation is needed into three options once the spillway is reduced by five metres:
- maintain the same height
- raise the spillway back, to a level to be advised
- lower the spillway further, with extra alternative water supply options as required.
Further work to be done this year includes:
- geotechnical investigations of the dam’s foundations
- anchoring trials
- additional testing of the roller compacted concrete
- detailed assessments of water demand in the region.
Currently, essential works to lower the spillway by about five meters were on track to start next month to enhance the community’s safety ahead of the next wet season.
The $100 million contract will create 80 jobs and is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2021.
The report is available at http://buildingqueensland.qld.gov.au/paradise-dam
* Sunwater will remove 100,000 megalitres of unsold water from the formulas used to calculate the share of water different urban and agricultural users can receive.
This means water users will receive more of their allocation for 2020-2021, even with the dam’s water levels kept at 42 percent while important and essential safety works are undertaken.
The changes were proposed by Sunwater, and approved by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, following consultation with irrigators.
Last updated 25 March 2020