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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

This study is being undertaken in conjunction with SunWater in response to 2015 Callide Creek flood review report (PDF, 33MB) and the serious flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Preliminary findings have been presented to the main stakeholders and the community and the study will be finalised and released at the end of 2017. A community reference group chaired by Major General (retired) Richard Wilson has been established to ensure that the study adequately considers community views.

Callide Creek flood review report

The Inspector-General Emergency Management has completed a review into the flooding of Callide Creek during Tropical Cyclone Marcia in February 2015. All of the report's recommendations have been accepted, and work is underway to implement them.

Callide Dam review of dam operations

Read the independent report into the management of Callide Dam during the January 2013 flood event (PDF, 5.8MB)

The report was prepared by Water Solutions Pty Ltd.

Water Solutions have significant expertise and experience in flood studies and the associated hydrological and hydraulic modelling. Their review involved the following key steps.

  • Collection and review of relevant data and consultation with SunWater and the Banana Shire Council Local Disaster Management Group.
  • Review of communication and flood management procedures, roles and responsibilities in the event.
  • Assessment of the effect of the releases from the Callide Dam gates downstream.
  • Four cases were modelled to assist with this assessment:
    • actual operations
    • the standard gate operation rules at the normal full supply level of 216.1m AHD
    • the defined rules for the temporary full supply level of 214.0m AHD (ignoring infrastructure restrictions)
    • no dam scenario.

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.

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
12 February 2018
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