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Burdekin Falls Saddle Dam and Monoliths Improvement Project

Sunwater is undertaking a detailed review of Burdekin Falls Dam to determine the scope of work required to best protect the dam from severe weather events in the future.

The improvement project follows the Foundation Drainage Improvement project completed in 2017. This second, larger project will evaluate, determine and implement the most efficient scope of works to improve the risk profile of the dam for the impact of increased weather events.

Burdekin Falls catchment area is more than 114,000km2 – nearly twice the size of Tasmania. The project will focus on developing innovative techniques for the management of large catchment systems.

Capital works being considered include the raising of saddle dams around the perimeter of Dalrymple Lake to better contain water and control releases during significant weather events. The structural capacity of the main dam and spillway will also be reinforced as part of the project.

What’s involved?

The project will see Sunwater work with specialist consultants to:

  • review catchment hydrology
  • complete a comprehensive risk assessment
  • explore new engineering solutions
  • make recommendations on the most efficient way to improve the dam’s weather risk profile.

Findings will be peer reviewed by Australian experts and used to inform future project design requirements.

Major milestones

  • Review to be completed late 2018
  • Detailed business case led by Building Queensland under the Queensland Government’s Project Assurance Framework to progress in 2019
  • Construction works expected to commence in 2020-2021
  • Project completion expected end of 2023.


Burdekin Falls Dam, North Queensland
Approximately 200km south of Townsville.