Water is lapping at Paradise Dam’s spillway crest for the first time in history. Photos: Gary Hutchison
Water is lapping at Paradise Dam’s spillway crest for the first time in history. Photos: Gary Hutchison

Dam capacity is Paradise

MAJOR inflows into Paradise Dam since the start of this month has seen 128,000 megalitres of water added to the dam and the magic declaration from SunWater: “The dam is now full”.

SunWater area operations manager Nev Wogandt said water was now lapping at the dam’s spillway for the first time since its construction in 2005.

“Reaching 100% capacity is a historic milestone for the dam and water allocation holders within the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme who will benefit from increased water security,” Mr Wogandt said.

“Our customers have been advised that their announced allocations are now set at 100%.”

The dam’s previous highest capacity was 75%.

Mr Wogandt said full allocations would apply until the end of the water year on June 30, and would be re-evaluated from then.

“The new water year will be in a better position than in previous times,” he said.

“Weather conditions, evaporation and demand between now and then will determine all that.”

He said unless the region received further significant rainfall, the dam was not expected to spill at its current inflow rate, which should continue for another three to four days.

He said the dam would only spill if the water inflow rate exceeded the rate at which the outlet worked and the environmental gate could release water.

“Any further minor inflows will be controlled releases through the dam’s outlet works and environmental gate,” he said.

“This will not only enable us to minimise environmental impacts downstream from the dam, but also allow us to operate our mini-hydro power station,” he said.

“That will generate clean, green energy into the state’s power grid.”

The dam’s catchment area is 30,785sq km, while the lake created by the dam covers 2995 hectares.



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