Greater water security for the Gold Coast and South East Queensland is a step closer with work now underway on the raising of the Hinze Dam wall.
Seqwater Chair Phil Hennessey and CEO Peter Borrows today toured the $395 million water infrastructure project with Acting Premier Paul Lucas and Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson to mark the milestone.
Mr Lucas said the project demonstrated the Bligh Government’s commitment to ensuring water security for the people of South East Queensland.
“The Bligh Government has a plan for the future and this project is a key element of our water strategy.
“Raising the Hinze Dam wall by 15 metres will double its storage capacity,” he said. But before we can raise the dam wall, first we have to “break it’’,’’ Mr Lucas said.
“The clay core that forms the main component of the dam wall gives it strength and keeps the water contained.
“Now that the core has been cracked we can begin raising the dam wall.
“This is part of the State Government’s $18.2 billion dollar infrastructure program which is supporting 127,000 jobs.
“The Hinze Dam upgrade is providing work for around 300 Queenslanders, with more than 75 per cent of workers from the Gold Coast region.
“The Hinze Dam upgrade is one of the largest dam projects currently being undertaken in Australia. It will boost its water supply capacity providing almost an additional 6000 ML a year into the SEQ Water Grid.”
Mr Robertson said the main embankment clay core had now been opened and new material was being added to raise the height of the wall.
“To get to this stage, the construction team has spent since January 2008 placing crushed rock up the face of the existing dam wall to increase its width,” he said.
“To this point they have doing all the preparatory concreting and infrastructure development needed to safely commence the actual wall raising.
“The most significant stage of the project, opening the existing clay core to raise the dam wall by 15 metres and increase the dam’s storage capacity from 169,000ML to 309,700ML has now commenced.
“Despite the heavy rainfall over the summer and autumn causing the Hinze Dam spillway to overflow, the project remains on track to be completed by December 2010.
“To help understand the significance of this infrastructure project, approximately 5 million tonnes of rock and 430,000 tonnes of clay will be used to raise the dam wall.”
“The rock fill for the main embankment and saddle dams alone could fill the Gold Coast’s Q1 building more than five times over.”
When complete, the Hinze Dam Stage 3 project will:
- Raise the Hinze Dam embankment wall by 15m to almost double storage capacity and significantly improve flood mitigation in the lower Nerang River catchment.
- Almost double the size of the existing Hinze Dam storage capacity, from the current 161,000 ML to 309,700 ML (equivalent of about 820,000 Olympic sized swimming pools).
- Lift water supply capacity from approx 209ML to 225ML per day or an additional extra 5849 ML a year into the SEQ Water Grid.
- Halve the flood discharges from the current dam providing greater flood protection for 3280 households for the 1 in 100 AEP flood event.
- Increase the surface area of the dam from 972 Ha to 1500 Ha
- Increase the full supply level from 82.2 metres to 94.5 metres
- Be the highest central clay core and rock dam in Queensland.