Seqwater and SunWater dam warning systems will be improved following a review by  Inspector-General Emergency Management, Iain MacKenzie.

Queenslanders living downstream from dams will now receive clearer and more timely information about local dam releases.

Energy and Water Supply Minister, Mark Bailey, said Mr MacKenzie had identified several ways the warning systems could be improved.

“For communities throughout Queensland living downstream of dams, timely and accurate notifications of potential flood waters passing their properties is crucial to help them stay safe, prepare and recover from severe weather events,” Mr Bailey said.

“While a number of improvements have been made in recent years to communication between dam owners such as SunWater and Seqwater and downstream residents, community feedback following floods in the Callide and Brisbane Valleys earlier this year suggested that more could be done.

“I called for this review as I believe it is crucial for communities, including irrigators living and working downstream of the dams, to receive timely and clear notifications of any controlled dam gate openings.”

Mr Bailey said that Inspector-General Mackenzie’s report contains a series of recommendations to more clearly identify which residents living near dams need to be warned about dam releases, as well as advice on improving emergency alerts that are sent to provide warnings to residents.

“Education campaigns will also be developed to better inform people living downstream from dams about potential gate openings and the operation of warning systems within their local area,” Mr Bailey said.

SunWater and Seqwater will immediately begin implementing the recommendations ahead of the 2015-16 summer period. 

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