Update for customers within the Burdekin-Haughton Water Supply Scheme

Sugar cane

Sunwater is working closely with Building Queensland on a detailed business case (DBC) for the Burdekin Falls Dam Improvement and proposed Burdekin Falls Dam Raising projects.

Future water demand survey

The Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project is a proposal to raise the existing dam to increase water supply in the Burdekin and surrounding regions. Sunwater and Building Queensland are inviting growers to outline their current water use and future intentions to inform potential growth patterns in the Burdekin over the next 30 years.

The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will remain open until 5pm on Friday, 30 October 2020.

Data from the survey will inform the potential height of the dam wall raising.

Participants will be asked to identify their location within the irrigation area, current and potential future crops, how much water they use now and how much they may need in the future. The survey will also test how demand and investment decisions may change under different pricing models. All data collected will remain confidential and the study will report on aggregated data only.

Consultation with a range of customers and industry associations is also underway to complement the survey data.

To complete the survey click here.  

Paper copies of the survey will also be available at the following locations from the first week of October:

  • Burdekin Shire Council – 145 Young St Ayr 
  • Lower Burdekin Water – 112 Airdmillan Road Ayr
  • Kalamia Cane Growers and Kalagro Limited – 140 Young St Ayr
  • Canegrowers Burdekin – 141 Young St Ayr
  • Pioneer Canegrowers – 142 Young St Ayr
  • Invicta Canegrowers – 54 Queen St Ayr
  • Burdekin Delta Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – 70 Railway Street Ayr
  • BRIA Irrigators – 43 Old Clare Road Ayr 

An update on the Burdekin Falls Dam Projects

Burdekin Falls Dam Raising – Environmental Impact Statement process

An environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the potential Burdekin Falls Dam Raising is running concurrently to the DBC.

The EIS will assess the potential environmental, economic and social impacts and benefits a dam raise may have on the region. It will also evaluate measures to avoid, minimise and/or offset potential impacts. The Coordinator-General is currently preparing the draft terms of reference to define the EIS’s purpose and structure. Sunwater will provide an update when the draft terms of reference are available for public comment. To read Sunwater’s initial advice statement, visit the Coordinator-General’s website.

Burdekin Falls Dam Improvement Project

The Burdekin Falls Dam Improvement Project will ensure the dam’s long-term viability by:

  • increasing its resilience to extreme weather events
  • bringing it in line with modern engineering design standards
  • ensuring it meets the safety requirements set out in the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld).

Proposed improvement works include anchoring the main dam spillway, raising and buttressing of the abutments, raising of the saddle dams and ancillary works.

Investigations to help inform the DBC are in progress.


The DBC for both Burdekin Falls Dam projects is expected to be completed in late 2021. The dam improvement works necessary to satisfy dam safety requirements must be undertaken. The dam improvement works could be included within the dam raising project or undertaken separately. The best approach will be determined through the DBC process.

New information

To stay informed as the projects progress, click here.

For any project-related enquires, call the Sunwater project team on 1800 325 145 or email Burdekin.Projects@sunwater.com.au. For general customer enquiries, please call 13 15 89.

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