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Progress for Burdekin Falls Dam Wall HOME > Progress for Burdekin Falls Dam Wall

The Palaszczuk Government has approved the proposal to raise Burdekin Falls Dam wall to progress to the next stage.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said publicly-owned Sunwater would now start a $16 million detailed business case into the potential raising of Queensland’s largest dam.

“This is not only boosting the Townsville region’s water security,” the Premier said.

“It’s part of our Powering North Queensland Plan. Upgrading the Burdekin Falls Dam is the next step in developing the Burdekin Hydro power project which is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and generate enough electricity to power 30 000 homes.”

The Premier said the project could also help boost to water security measures in the region.

“The Burdekin Falls Dam is at the heart of one of Queensland’s largest agricultural hubs and the extra water for irrigation could support another 10,000 hectares of production,” the Premier said.

“Investigations to date show enough interest from farmers and industry in more water, as well as future urban demand in Townsville.

“Any major investment like this needs to have a detailed business case to back it up and that’s precisely the action we’re taking.”

The proposal is to raise the spillway crest of the dam to increase capacity. The detailed business case will include analysis of the environmental, economic, financial, and sustainability factors and an environmental impact statement.

The detailed business case will investigate the most viable height by which to raise the dam, but as an example, raising the dam by two meters would increase the storage capacity by approximately 150,000 megalitres—bringing the total capacity to 2.01 million megalitres.

Sunwater, the government-owned corporation that owns and operates the dam, would work with Building Queensland to investigate the costs and engineering options for raising the Burdekin Falls Dam wall.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had previously invested $225 million into Townsville’s water security – $215 million for Stage 1 of the pipeline and another $10 million for Townsville City Council’s Water Smart Package to help residents use water sustainably.

“Progressing to a detailed business case for raising the wall is separate to these measures and a further commitment to the people of Townsville,” he said.

The government’s $225 million investment Townsville’s water security includes 33.4km of water pipeline and supports nearly 1000 jobs.

Haughton Pipeline duplication fast facts

  • Palaszczuk Government committed $215m for Stage 1
  • 33.4 km pipeline project duplicates existing pipeline
  • When fully operational will be capable of delivering 356 megalitres of water per day from Burdekin to Ross River Dam – nearly triple the current capacity
  • More than 11km of piping has now been laid
  • More than 900 people and 150 businesses have now directly or indirectly worked on the project.

New drone footage of pipeline progress and Burdekin Falls Dam can be viewed here.

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