NEW SCHEDULE: Seqwater trainee operator Jonathon Jose stands in front of the current spillway at Lake Macdonald dam.
NEW SCHEDULE: Seqwater trainee operator Jonathon Jose stands in front of the current spillway at Lake Macdonald dam.

More dam delays as lake upgrade is pushed back

MAJOR works on a Noosa dam have officially been pushed back until next year following the declaration of drought in the region.

Approval for the Lake Macdonald dam project was granted in May 2019, with the new spillway and reconstruction of existing earth embankments to be the first significant upgrade to the site since the walls were raised in 1980.

To minimise any environmental impacts as a result of dry conditions, SEQ Water has updated its initial design of the dam spillway and re-phased the lowering of the lake to 2021.

“The lake lowering is scheduled to take place in 2021, weather permitting,” an SEQ Water spokesman said.

“Should the current dry conditions continue, the lake lowering and overall project timing will be subject to further water supply security assessments as required.

“While COVID-19 mitigation protocols have presented challenges, the project team has adapted to keep work moving forward.”

The lake’s water level will be lowered to about 5 to 10 per cent of its full capacity in order to undertake the work, with the lowering due to take place at the end of the year.

“We will commence the construction of early works for the project in late 2020, including enabling works for the replacement of the existing bridge to the Noosa Water Treatment Plant,” the spokesman said.

As a key water source for the community of Noosa, the spokesman said the works would help better protect the dam against earthquakes and extreme floods.

“The upgrade will enable the dam to continue to perform safely well into the future,” he said.

“SEQ Water will also undertake water security projects to improve the operational capability of the SEQ Water Grid ahead of the lake lowering.

“These projects will bolster water supply security for Noosa and the Sunshine Coast”


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