QLD – Review affirms SunWater’s management of Callide Dam – Media Release 4 June 2015

SunWater has welcomed today’s report that affirms its management and operation of Callide Dam during the devastating effects of Cyclone Marcia in February this year.

Cyclone Marcia and the associated flood event in the Callide Valley have resulted in significant damage in the local community. SunWater recognises the considerable loss of homes, stock, crops and other infrastructure suffered by the community, including some of our staff, as a result of the cyclone.

The 2015 Callide Creek Flood Review has confirmed that SunWater precisely followed the dam’s agreed Emergency Action Plan and operating requirements for the dam.

As part of the review, independent hydrology experts engaged by the Inspector General have assessed that an early release, even if it was allowed under legislation, would not have made a material difference to flooding downstream.

SunWater CEO Peter Boettcher said the review found SunWater operated the Callide Dam in line with established and approved operating procedures.

“Whilst we always believed that we managed and operated the dam appropriately, the findings of the Inspector General confirming that the dam was operated professionally are important to ensure the community concerns are answered,” he said.

Mr. Boettcher acknowledged the efforts of SunWater’s local staff, who managed the dam safely even while some of their own homes and families were at risk by Cyclone Marcia.

The review highlights that improvements are required to the system of community notification and warnings when flooding is imminent, and Mr. Boettcher said SunWater would participate fully in that process, together with the relevant authorities.

“It is important the community is warned as early as possible if there is a risk of flooding and we will work with the Banana Shire Council and disaster management agencies to improve the systems and processes,” he said.

“The report also recommends a study into whether or not the Callide Dam should be operated as a flood mitigation dam in the future and we will fully support the Department of Energy and Water Supply in that review.

“But the report also acknowledges that the Callide Dam plays an important role in providing the community with water security.

“We remain committed to the safety of local communities and our staff at all times, and look forward to working with the relevant parties to implement the recommendations of this review,” Mr. Boettcher said.

Author: SunWater Media Team ([email protected])

Permission to publish obtained by Michel Raymond

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