2004 – Large Dams and Small Communities

S.E. Macnish, B Maher2, D. Gill, N Bennett, N.Woods and K.F. Chandler

Wivenhoe Dam is being upgraded to safely manage any conceivable flood in response to a revision of rainfall predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology. These revisions have led to a substantial increase in estimates of the Probable Maximum Flood that the storage must be able to manage under the ANCOLD guidelines. Wivenhoe Dam, completed in 1985, is located about 80 km north west of Brisbane and is the major domestic water supply for South East Queensland.

The dam is owned and operated by SEQWater who are responsible also for North Pine and Somerset Dams. The upgrade is being undertaken as an Alliance contract with the member companies being SEQWater, Leighton Contractors, MWH, Department of Commerce NSW, and Coffey Geosciences. The upgrade involves construction of a second spillway, 165 m wide on the right abutment. This will be a fuse plug spillway requiring excavation of approximately 600,000 m3 of material.

Construction impacts on the community include noise and dust, blasting, and temporary road diversions/lane closures of the main Brisbane Valley Highway over about two years of construction.
This paper deals with a wide range of stakeholder, community consultation and environmental initiatives that have involved local residents, stakeholders and recreational users in the planning and implementation phases of this project. Several long-term environmental legacies are also discussed.

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