Paradise Dam Improvement Project

Paradise Dam Improvement Project

Paradise Dam, Queensland

Paradise Dam will be returned to its original height, as part of significant safety improvement works.

Project overview

In December 2021, the Queensland Government announced that Paradise Dam will be returned to its original height, as part of significant safety improvement works.

This decision follows detailed technical investigations, which show it is possible to safely re-raise, strengthen and stabilise the dam wall.

This decision will provide a safe dam and water security for the region for years to come.

Options evaluation

The Queensland Government’s decision has been underpinned by the Paradise Dam Improvement Project Options Evaluation Report.

Sunwater assisted in the development of the Options Evaluations Report by undertaking technical assessment and testing, supporting the demand study and undertaking preliminary design of various remediation options.

Read the Paradise Dam Improvement Project Options Evaluation Report on the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) website.

Paradise Dam Improvement Project works

Paradise Dam Improvement Project works will include:

• buttressing with mass concrete across the primary and secondary dam spillways and left abutment wall
• new training walls
• extending the existing downstream apron
• raising and replacing sections of the secondary spillway.

The project will ensure that Paradise Dam meets the stringent safety criteria that apply to all dams in Australia.

Read the Paradise Dam Improvement Project required work fact sheet or visit the Sunwater YouTube channel to view short videos on the works required as part of the Paradise Dam Improvement Project.

Background

The earlier stages of the Paradise DIP included flood repair works carried out in 2013 and further improvement works completed in mid-2017.

Timing

The next stage of the project includes progressing design, environmental and planning approvals, early contractor engagement, and procurement activities necessary before construction can commence.

In February 2022, the Queensland and Australian Governments each announced a commitment of $600 million, a total of $1.2 billion, towards the Paradise Dam Improvement Project.

Early works are expected to commence in 2023, including local road upgrades, material sourcing and investigations, and planning for a workers accommodation camp. Major works at the dam are expected to commence in 2024.

Water security

Demand and hydrology studies have shown that reinstating the dam wall to its original height will provide sufficient capacity to meet the region’s water needs for decades to come, even with the potential impacts of climate change on both water demand and yield.

The Queensland Government and Sunwater have worked closely with the Bundaberg community and irrigators to ensure the issues of safety and water security were carefully considered in this decision.

As requested by industry representatives, the Queensland Government also completed an Economic impact assessment (EIA) to inform the broader economic benefits of restoring Paradise Dam.

Resolving distribution network constraints

Sunwater will develop a separate business case to further investigate capacity constraints within the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme’s existing distribution network to support the region’s diversification and expansion into high value perennial tree crops like macadamias and avocados.

Sunwater will continue to engage with customers to develop plans to alleviate network constraints so that water distribution can keep pace with demand. The funding approach for this work is yet to be confirmed.

Engagement forums

Sunwater has established the following engagement forums:

Paradise Dam Community Reference Group
Paradise Dam Industry Forum.