Julius Dam

Julius Dam


Announced Allocations
High Priority
Water Pricing
No fees and charges available

Scheme information


The Julius Dam Scheme supports urban and industrial users.

How the scheme works
  • Water is drawn from Julius Dam located at the junction of Paroo Creek and the Leichardt River, approximately 70km north-east of Mount Isa
  • The dam includes a spillway with a crest 18.3 meters above bed level.
Water uses
  • Urban water supply for Mount Isa and Cloncurry
  • Industrial.

Scheme Management

Sunwater must comply with the conditions set out in the Julius Dam WSS Resource Operations Licence (ROL), issued to Sunwater in June 2010 and amended July 2014 by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW). The ROL outlines the infrastructure details, environmental release rules and all monitoring and reporting obligations required of Sunwater.

Sunwater focuses our resources towards timely and cost-efficient delivery of water to customers in the Julius Dam scheme. We collaborate with our customers to ensure that we understand their needs, are able to adapt quickly to changes in the environment and make the most of the available water supply.

Taking water from the scheme

The water ordering system assists Sunwater in delivering water to its customers in an efficient and timely way, enabling them to plan and manage their water use.

Before taking any water, customers should place a water order so that Sunwater can release sufficient water and minimise losses.

Customers who take water without ordering may reduce Sunwater’s ability to supply customers who have ordered according to the above requirements.

Stopping or restricting supply

Sunwater may suspend or restrict supply in a number of circumstances, including:

  • during maintenance of Sunwater’s assets
  • during a peak demand period, when rosters or rations may apply
  • when the demand for water is so small it is impractical to supply it
  • when there is a need to make special releases to maximise efficiency at times of limited supply
  • during rain shutdown
  • infrastructure limitations which make delivery impractical
  • if supply could cause Sunwater to break the law
  • when operating under special notices or regulations issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines {e.g. Water Amendment Regulation (No.3) 2006}.
Weather events and emergency shutdowns

Sunwater asks that customers notify their duty Water Officer, as soon as possible, of any rain event or other circumstances that substantially lessens their water requirements. When wide spread general rain exceeds 40 mm in a day over the Julius Dam Water Supply Scheme, the duty Water Officer may shut the system down.

Customers are also asked to cancel orders if they no longer require ordered water.

For more information contact

If you experience an equipment or power failure emergency, please give immediate notice to Sunwater by calling Sunwater Customer Support on 13 15 89 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Announced Allocations

Water Year: 2023/2024
High  priority: 100%

Announced Allocations effective 1 July 2023 and will be applicable until revised and communicated by Sunwater.

Customers are advised to obtain information about their remaining water allocation balance by accessing SunwaterOnline.

For more information or enquiries, phone 13 15 89 or email customersupport@sunwater.com.au.

History of Announced Allocations
Julius Dam

AA history

Operational reports

Sunwater releases periodic operational reports detailing Announced Allocation levels and individual storages’ breakdowns within each scheme, the latest of which can be found below.

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2023

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2022

Operational Report

effective 1 July 2021


Scheme history

Julius Dam operational testing during five-year inspection
Julius Dam operational testing during five-year inspection

Julius Water Supply Scheme

It took a devastating drought in 1971 for administrators to realise Mt Isa’s water supply was vulnerable.

Lake Moondarra (Leichhardt Dam) had been built in 1958 on the Leichhardt River by Mt Isa Mines, at the time the largest privately funded water scheme in Australia. It remains the principal water supply storage for Mt Isa today, but the drought in 1971 forced the city to explore other options.

The Mount Isa Water Board was formed in 1973 to design and construct a drought-proofing water supply scheme, and as result Julius Dam (Lake Julius) was completed in 1978, 70 km upstream from Mt Isa on the Leichhardt River. It provides back-up supplies to Lake Moondarra for urban water needs as well as water for the Cloncurry Council and mines in the North West Mineral Province including Ernest Henry copper mine and MMG (Dugal River).