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Stantec to deliver reference design for Somerset Dam Improvement Project

Seqwater has appointed Stantec to provide design services to upgrade the Dam, delivering increased safety for the region’s second largest supply dam.


Stantec, a global engineering and consulting firm, has been awarded a $6 million design services contract to develop and detail the reference design for Seqwater’s Somerset Dam Improvement Project. Stantec will investigate the potential for a dam upgrade to provide increased safety, consistent with the latest engineering standards and guidelines. An upgraded dam also has the potential to increase flood mitigation for downstream communities. The reference design is expected to be completed in 2021, with the dam upgrade construction then pending government approval and funding.  

Following an earlier review that identified improvements needed, Somerset Dam’s flood operation procedures were modified in 2016 as a precautionary safety measure and drinking water levels were lowered to maintain flood mitigation benefits. The proposed upgrade will explore raising the Dam crest, constructing a downstream buttress, as well as modifying the gated spillway and outlet works. When the upgrade is completed, the normal full supply level will be reinstated while allowing the dam to mitigate potential floods. 

‘Since construction of Somerset Dam was completed in 1959, global understanding of dam safety risks and potential consequences has continued to evolve. In addition, there has been substantial population growth downstream and continuing changes in our climate’ said Mark Cordell, Principal Dams Engineer at Stantec. ‘Working with Seqwater, we’ll bring local and global experience from dam improvement projects completed around the world to ensure the selected upgrade solution satisfies operational and flood mitigation requirements while meeting today’s engineering and safety standards.’

Somerset Dam is a dual-purpose water supply and flood mitigation dam that is owned and operated by Seqwater. It is located on the Stanley River near Kilcoy in Queensland, and water from the Dam is released into Wivenhoe Dam.

Somerset Dam is 305 metres long, 58 metres at its highest point and is comprised of 22 monoliths. The Reference Design will contribute to the Detailed Business Case that will inform the State government of the Dam’s proposed upgrade options.

Stantec has nearly 100 years of hydropower and dam experience including feasibility studies, detailed design and construction management from more than 5,000 dam projects around the world. The Stantec Dam team designed the Warragamba Dam raise in Australia, San Vicente Dam Raise project, the largest concrete dam raise in the US, and the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project in Colorado, US. For more information about Stantec waterpower and dams expertise and projects, visit   

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

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Media Contact
Paul Bromiley
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: +61 429 529 174

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