Supporting dam long term viability and water security
Owned and operated by Sunwater, a state-owned water provider in Queensland, the Burdekin Falls Dam is critical infrastructure primarily for irrigation, replenishing local aquifers, and supporting recreational activities and businesses.
Since 2017, we’ve been working with Sunwater to support a business case on the dam safety improvement design. The services include evaluating the integrity of the existing concrete dam and saddle dams based on available data and developing conceptual design options for improvement of the dam, including improvement construction cost estimates. The scope of work also included an extensive geotechnical investigation, geological modelling, concrete condition assessment, mix design, computational fluid modelling, and preliminary design (including drawing and digital delivery).
We have supported Sunwater through delivery of the business cases for both the dam raise and dam improvement project, including the provision of scheduling and technical writing. Our work also included regular workshops with Sunwater and the Queensland dam safety regulator. As with any dam project, a vital consideration is risk. In this case structural integrity, as the frequency and duration of spill events over the main dam—which currently occur approximately 30% of the time—is the most important consideration.
The design satisfied Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) guidelines, as well as the technical review panel and other key stakeholders. The government subsequently approved the dam raising business case, which is testament to the success of the overall project.
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