Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Efficiency Improvement Project

Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Efficiency Improvement Project

Mareeba and Dimbulah, North Queensland

Photo courtesy of National Water Grid Authority

The Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme was established in 1958 upon completion of the Tinaroo Falls Dam to provide water to the Barron Gorge power station. Today the scheme supports more than 1000 irrigation, industrial and urban customers with a total of 204,424 megalitres in water entitlements.

As part of our commitment to the long-term sustainability and efficiency of the Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme, $30.8 million is being invested to upgrade scheme infrastructure.

The work aims to improve operating and distribution efficiency and reduce water losses by up to 8,306 megalitres in order to deliver more water for customers.

Total project cost is $30.8 million, of which Sunwater will invest $19.2 million into the supplement National Water Infrastructure Development Fund funding of $11.6 million.

What’s involved?

The improvement work will take place across six areas within the scheme – Atherton Creek, Biboohra, East Barron 4, North Walsh, Southedge and South Walsh.   

Work across the scheme will include:

  • fabrication and installation of more than 100 automated control gates in irrigation channels
  • replacement and installation of approximately 14 km of pipeline
  • expansion of in-channel storages at various locations, and
  • improvements to concrete structures to enable installation of the automated gates and monitoring of selected customer irrigation offtakes.

Construction works are expected to be completed by the end of 2021, weather and site conditions permitting. Once water savings are validated, allocations will be made available for sale.

Major milestones

  • Installation of automated control gates at Biboohra storage – completed July 2019
  • East Barron 4 pressured pipeline operational – completed February 2020
  • Installation of automated control gates and increase to in-channel storage at North Walsh and Atherton Creek – completed October 2020
  • Atherton Creek Main Channel pressurised pipeline operational – completed October 2020
  • Installation of automated control gates at Southedge – completed March 2021
  • West Barron Main Channel pressurised pipeline operational – completed March 2021
  • Installation of automated control gates at South Walsh – late 2021

Construction impacts

Residents and businesses may experience some construction-related noise and dust disturbances as well as some heavy vehicle movement. Sunwater works closely with the contractor to minimise construction impacts on the local community and appreciates your patience while the work is underway.

Sunwater customers will be notified directly about the works and any project-related temporary water supply shutdowns.