Central Queensland’s recently completed Rockwood Weir began spilling water on 27 December after reaching 122 per cent of its full capacity, a total of 74,300ML. 

The spill comes after significant rainfall in the catchment little more than a month after the weir’s official construction completion. 

Rookwood Weir is operating as designed and safely passing water downstream, with a flow rate of approximately 41,900ML per day.

Wet commissioning activities to test the weir’s infrastructure continue, with assessments of certain equipment now possible due to the water level at the weir.

The spill increased after further rainfall into the catchment and is expected to continue for several weeks.

Rookwood Weir is not accessible to the public and with water still over roads near the site, Sunwater urges members of the public wishing to see the weir spilling to avoid travelling to the area. 

Acting Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Murray Watt, said that the Rookwood Weir is a gamechanger for water security in Central Queensland.

“After the recent opening, it is so exciting to see the next step – its first spill,” Mr Watt said. 

“The weir will boost agricultural production, create jobs and support the economy. 

“I’m pleased to see Central Queensland drawing the benefits of important water infrastructure delivered by Federal and State Governments.”

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that it was exciting to see that only a month after celebrating the completion of the weir’s construction, it has already experienced its first spill. 

“This impressive piece of infrastructure has been built in one of the state’s best catchments and it’s great to see it already living up to expectations,” Mr Watt said. 

“What we are seeing proves just how important this weir will be to delivering water security and economic growth for Central Queensland. I look forward to getting back out to the region soon to see the weir in operation.”

Rockhampton MP, Barry O’Rourke, said that the regional benefits from this first fill of the weir will be seen in no time, with flows reaching Rockhampton and beyond.

“We are now much closer to being able to provide landholders successful in the Rookwood Weir water sales with access to this precious resource,” Mr O’Rourke said. 

Sunwater CEO, Glenn Stockton, said that while wet commissioning and testing of the weir’s elements began in December 2023, the weir filling and spilling will allow Sunwater to expedite the testing process.

“Rookwood Weir is managing this first event well and passing outflows safely downstream towards our Eden Ban Weir, which is also spilling and currently at 120 per cent, an increase of approximately 300 per cent since 22 December 2023.” 

Featured image: Rockwood Weir spilling over. Image credit: Queensland Government.

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