Paradise Dam is being maintained at a reduced capacity during Essential Work to lower the dam spillway. Previous water release events occurred during:
- September to December 2019
- February to June 2020.
If inflows require further releases during the Essential Works, Sunwater may again announce an out of allocation event for access to water without cost.
Will there be another out of allocation water release?
The Essential Works are currently scheduled to continue through to mid-December 2020, pending good progress and no delays due to weather or overtopping events. Remaining works will be completed in 2021 after the wet season.
If the dam reaches 78 per cent (equivalent to 42 per cent prior to the spillway lowering, read more on this percentage update here) before the Essential Works activity is complete, and the downstream storages of Ned Churchward Weir and Ben Anderson Barrage are full, a further out of allocation event may be triggered.
Depending on water levels, an event may also be triggered prior to recommencing activity for the Essential Works after the wet season (likely in April or May 2021).
When will the water be available?
Customers who divert water from the Isis or Woongarra channel systems, or pump from the Burnett River downstream of Paradise Dam, can access out of allocation event water.
If you do not have access to these areas and wish to access out of allocation water, please contact Sunwater.
What can I do with out of allocation water?
Customers can access water for either direct application onto crops or storage for later use.
How can I access the out of allocation water?
To access out of allocation water at no charge, customers must notify Sunwater of their start and end meter readings.
Normal fixed and variable charges will still apply to a customer’s existing allocation.
A water permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) may also be required, please see below for more information.
Please note this advice does not relate to treated town water supplied by Bundaberg and North Burnett Regional Councils.
Note: Any customers that divert water during an out of allocation event who have not provided Sunwater with the details above will have the usage debited against their existing allocation, for which normal charges apply.
How do I provide meter read and photo to Sunwater?
Before taking out of allocation water, customers must submit a photo of their meter and corresponding start/end read with their name, customer or water account number and best contact number. This information can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS to 0400 601 795. This will need to be repeated once this event has ended. We will provide customers with notice for when this is due to occur.
If you have difficulty providing this information, please contact Customer Support on 13 15 89, Monday—Friday 8:30am- 4:30pm or your grower representative group.
Important – you may need a water permit from DNRME and/or a short-term access agreement with Sunwater to access this water. Customers requiring these documents will need to submit a copy of the permit in conjunction with their start meter read.
When is a water permit required from DNRME?
From 1 July 2020, a water permit from DNRME may be required.
A water permit is ONLY required for customers or others from the community who access the water directly from the Burnett River and the Elliott and Gregory catchments (including Mahogany Creek).
Any questions regarding water permits should be raised with DNRME by calling 1800 135 531.
Sunwater channel customers taking water from the Isis and Woongarra channel systems DO NOT require a water permit.
When is a short-term supply contract with Sunwater required?
A short-term supply contract is required to access water by any means other than a Sunwater metered offtake. Read more about short-term supply contracts here.
Existing customers who do not have access to the Isis or Woongarra channel systems or Burnett River downstream of Paradise Dam and wish to access an out of allocation event please contact Sunwater.
Why can’t Sunwater provide advance notice of this water availability?
Sunwater closely monitors weather forecasts, rainfall, dam inflows and the dam storage level. We will endeavour to provide customers’ as much advance notice as possible, noting that the impact of inflows on the dam level can change quickly depending on catchment conditions and weather events.
Why can’t the water be released more slowly?
Paradise Dam must be maintained at a reduced capacity during the Essential Work. Given this work is required for community safety reasons, we need to release water following inflows as soon as practical.
We understand that our customers would like the water to be released over a longer period of time to maximise the opportunity to utilise the water. The release rate and timing are determined by the safety requirements.