Proactive action has been taken at Wivenhoe Dam in anticipation of this summer’s forecast La Nina, with the dam’s temporary full supply level lowered.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced the decision to lower the temporary full supply to 80 per cent, saying the move is to ensure the continued safety of Queenslanders and communities.
“In light of forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology and expert advice, the decision has been made to lower the level of Wivenhoe Dam,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This will increase the temporary flood storage space in Wivenhoe Dam to allow additional flood waters to be stored if required.
“We know flood safety is top of mind for Queenslanders at the moment and so too is the cost of living.”
Ms Palaszczuk also announced a $55 reduction in water bills for all South East Queensland households connected to the SEQ water grid, equating to the use of 13,200 litres of free water for approximately 1.38 million homes.
The discount will apply to households in Brisbane, Redlands, Logan, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Ipswich, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Moreton Bay and the Lockyer Valley councils.
Queensland’s Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said the decision to lower the temporary full supply level was made under Section 390 of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, taking into account expert advice and a range of important considerations.
“This isn’t a decision I’ve taken lightly but after receiving briefings and advice from Seqwater, the Department of Environment and Science, and the Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water, it was clear that this is a good decision which is aimed at best preparing us for the weather that lies ahead.
“From Saturday, minor gated releases will occur from Wivenhoe Dam. These will be controlled releases, made in accordance with the Flood Manual,” Mr Butcher said.
“Across the next two weeks, Seqwater will drain around 116,000 megalitres of water.
“This provides additional flood mitigation benefits provided by the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams system, manage the ongoing safety of both dams, and balances South East Queensland’s water security.”
Mr Butcher said the releases would be managed to minimise any impact on the community and that Seqwater will adjust its strategy to respond as required if significant wet weather occurs while the dams are being lowered.
Seqwater will keep the community informed of releases before they begin, and over the 14-day period.
Updates will occur through traditional and social media channels as well as through Seqwater’s dam release notification service
For more detailed information or to register for Seqwater’s dam release notification service visit www.seqwater.com.au.