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Flood mitigation studies and dam reviews

Information about current and past flood mitigation studies, including those undertaken as a result of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

For more information about the flood studies visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

Brisbane River catchment flood studies

The Queensland Government and local governments of the Brisbane River catchment are currently working on a long-term plan to manage the impact of floods and improve community safety and resilience in the catchment. Read about the Brisbane River catchment flood studies.

Callide Valley flood mitigation study

Following extensive flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Marcia, the Inspector‑General Emergency Management’s 2015 Callide Creek flood review recommended a study into the feasibility of operating Callide Dam as a flood mitigation dam.

The Callide Valley flood mitigation study, jointly undertaken by the department and SunWater, has now been completed.

It found that Callide Dam does not have sufficient capacity or catchment area to effectively mitigate all floods, and recommended retaining Callide Dam as a water supply dam.

Flood inquiry response

These dam optimisation studies were completed in response to the recommendations of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams Optimisation Study (WSDOS)

The study investigated alternative strategies for operating Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during floods.

After seeking community feedback on the options, ‘Alternative Urban 3’ was selected as the optimised strategy and incorporated into Revision 12 of the Manual of operational procedures for flood mitigation at Wivenhoe Dam and Somerset Dam in November 2014.

Alternative Urban 3 changes how the flood mitigation compartment of Wivenhoe Dam is used, placing a lower priority on the protection of rural crossings and allocating more space to protecting houses and buildings from damage during large floods. It will potentially reduce flooding by 5-10% flooding during major floods and significantly reduce the number of houses being inundated.

North Pine Dam Optimisation Study (NPDOS)

This study investigated options for operating North Pine Dam during floods.

After seeking community feedback on the options, ‘Option 3 - 90% Full Supply Level’ was selected as the optimised strategy and incorporated into Revision 9 of the Manual of operational procedures for flood mitigation at North Pine Dam in November 2014.

Option 3 is a semi-permanent (for a maximum of 20 years) lowering of the storage level in the dam to 90% of its full supply volume. This option also includes lowering the flood release triggers to improve the use of the dam’s temporary flood storage. The option:

  • provides small improvements in flood mitigation over the range of possible floods
  • improves the safety of the dam for rare and extreme floods
  • allows greater warning for downstream residents and therefore more time for residents to act during flood events
  • has no impact on southeast Queensland water supply security in the medium to long term.

Flood mitigation infrastructure investigation

This investigation followed on from the findings of the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams Optimisation Study which demonstrated that to achieve significant improvements to flood mitigation at the regional scale, new or upgraded infrastructure would likely be required.

The prefeasibility investigation identified following options as warranting further consideration:

  • increasing the flood mitigation compartment of Wivenhoe Dam by raising the dam wall
  • a new dam on the Brisbane River upstream of Linville
  • a new dam on the Lower Warrill Creek near Willowbank.

Paradise Dam review of dam safety management actions

Read the independent review of the 2013 Paradise Dam flood event (PDF, 3.2MB)

The independent report was prepared by Len Macdonald, an experienced dam engineer and former Chair of the New South Wales Dam Safety Committee. His report examines the dam safety management actions taken prior to, during and after the January–March 2013 flood event, and looks at ways to improve the dam's safety procedures.

SunWater (the dam owner) has accepted all of the review's recommendations and has committed to preparing a detailed implementation plan.

Report into flooding in Sandy Creek catchment

Following Cyclone Debbie, an independent report into the downstream flooding of Kinchant Dam was prepared. Read the report, Flooding in Sandy Creek Catchment, Mackay, following Tropical Cyclone Debbie: an independent assessment.

Further information

Read the report on the implementation of the current levee regulatory framework.

Contact us

For enquiries, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) business hours or 13 43 87 business hours or email

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
14 June 2018
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