Paradise Dam.
Paradise Dam.

DAM DEMAND: How you can voice your future water needs

Local growers have a chance to have their say on future water demand at Paradise Dam.

Through the Bundaberg Irrigation Water Demand Survey by NCEconomics, farmers can outline their water needs into the future, which will help determine the next phase of works at Paradise Dam.

According to Sunwater, NCEconomics has been engaged by Building Queensland to undertake an assessment of future water demand and a broader economic assessment to inform the detailed business case for Paradise Dam.

As stated on the survey's introduction page, any information provided by you for the survey will remain confidential; information will be only be reported at an aggregated and anonymous format.

The survey is expected to take about 30 minutes to complete and will be open until 5pm Friday, October 30.


WORKS CONTINUE: Work at Paradise Dam is now focused on installing the first passive anchors to secure the new concrete crest.
WORKS CONTINUE: Work at Paradise Dam is now focused on installing the first passive anchors to secure the new concrete crest.

"This is a critical task underpinning the Building Queensland process," the Sunwater website read.

"It will assess how much water is needed, from which customer segments and when, and will help to inform certain aspects of the options being assessed by Building Queensland such as the height of the dam wall and/or other potential improvements to the existing water supply scheme.

"This is particularly important for those who are looking at expanding or changing operations."

The business case is also investigating options to ensure adequate and secure water supply to support regional growth in the Bundaberg region.

In September last year, the decision to lower Paradise Dam and release thousands of megalitres was announced for community safety.

Work to lower the spillway by 5.8m began in May this year, after a Commission of Inquiry in to Paradise Dam was held and local farmers rallied outside the Bundaberg Courthouse in an effort to "save" the dam earlier in the year.

Since then farmers have launched a class action and work on the spillway continues.

Last month Sunwater posted on the dam's Facebook page stating that work at Paradise Dam was now focused on installing the first passive anchors to secure the new concrete crest.

The concrete pours for the new crest were planned to start this month.

Paradise Dam.
Paradise Dam.

"We will complete as much of this work as we can before the wet season but it is likely that some work will continue after the wet season," it read.

"Engineering testing is progressing in parallel to inform the long-term remediation design of Paradise Dam."

Sunwater has also updated the Paradise Dam's supply level and current capacity to reflect the height of the dam wall.

A Sunwater spokesperson said this was necessary to provide clarity for operational and safety matters, and to ensure the community has access to accurate and consistent information.

"In the event of extreme weather conditions, it is important that 100 per cent capacity represents when the water level reaches the top of the dam wall and is about to spill," the spokesperson said.

"Now that lowering activity to reduce the risk of a dam failure is complete, the full supply volume at the dam has been reduced from 300,600 megalitres to 160,900 megalitres.

"As at 9 October 2020, the 160,900 megalitre figure represents 100 per cent capacity on Sunwater's website and App."

Upon installation of the temporary crest, the full supply volume will rise to 170,400 megalitres, which will then represent 100 per cent capacity on Sunwater's website and App.

The spokesperson said this change would also apply to how the Paradise Dam full supply level and current capacity was reported on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

"This is a temporary measure and no decision has been made about the long-term future of the dam," the spokesperson said.

"Additionally, the data reporting change does not impact on current announced allocations for Sunwater customers.

"It is worth noting, Sunwater will continue to maintain the dam at a lower storage volume during the essential works to enable safe construction activities."

The survey is open until 5pm Friday, October 30.