Burdekin Falls Dam Improvement Project

Burdekin Falls Dam Improvement Project

Burdekin Falls Dam, North Queensland

The Project will ensure the long-term viability of the dam by bringing its infrastructure into line with the safety requirements set out in the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld).

The 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).

Sunwater is working with Building Queensland, who is leading a detailed business case, to investigate options that will meet these objectives.

The project follows the Foundation Drainage Improvement Project, which was completed in 2017. This second, larger project will evaluate, determine and implement the most efficient scope of works to ensure the long-term viability of the dam. Specifically, it will focus on developing innovative techniques for the management of large catchment systems.

Burdekin Falls Dam is one of several dams being upgraded as part Sunwater’s Dam Improvement Program.  

What’s involved?

Proposed improvement works include raising saddle dams and spillway abutments, installing post-tensioned anchors to the dam’s main spillway and abutments, and constructing a new right-bank saddle dam.

Why Burdekin Falls Dam requires an upgrade

Dams are long-life assets and require continual assessment, monitoring and maintenance.

Burdekin Falls Dam continues to perform as it should however, assessments have highlighted actions Sunwater needs to take to bring the dam in line with modern engineering design standards and ensure the asset remains safe and productive for years to come. Note, Burdekin Falls Dam is not a flood mitigation dam and no flood mitigation works are planned as part of the Dam Improvement Project or the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project.

Dam Safety Assessments

Burdekin Falls Dam, like all Sunwater dams, has comprehensive monitoring systems and processes which involve 20-year dam safety reviews, five year and annual inspections, and periodic in-depth risk assessments.

Sunwater regularly monitors the dam by inspecting its structures and reading the instruments that measure conditions. This includes monitoring equipment such surface movement points to detect any movement in the dam wall or saddle dams and hydraulic piezometer measuring the water pressure within the embankment.

For more information about the dam, visit the Burdekin Falls Dam page.