UPGRADES: Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams are set to receive upgrades.
UPGRADES: Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams are set to receive upgrades. David Nielsen

Region's major water supplies to get major upgrades

MORE than $200 million has been invested into upgrades, refurbishments and new projects on Queensland's bulk water infrastructure, including at the Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Seqwater had delivered a record $145.4 million capital works program to enhance the operation and performance of South-East Queensland's water grid.

This included Seqwater's major upgrade to the Somerset Dam Hydro-Electric Plant.

"Completion of the $11 million upgrade has increased energy generation capacity at the plant from 3.2 to 4.1 megawatts - adding to Queensland's renewable energy generation,” Dr Lynham said.

"Somerset may be one of south-east Queensland's major drinking water dams, but it's also a renewable powerhouse helping Queensland move towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.”

Projects also included upgrades to decades-old dams and reservoirs to bring them up to modern national safety standards.

"Seqwater has delivered a record year of work including upgrades to Leslie Harrison and Sideling Creek Dams, as well as the ongoing planning for upgrades to Lake Macdonald, Ewen Maddock, Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams,” he said.

"Our dams are built to very high safety standards but over the past 50 years the methodologies and data used to estimate extreme rainfall events and flooding have significantly changed.”

Dr Lynham said all the water works last financial year created jobs and opportunities across many Queensland businesses including building materials suppliers and surveyors; concreters, earth moving contractors; engineers; and electricians.

"Queensland has 53 state-owned referable dams that store drinking water, protect our communities from flooding, and provide recreation opportunities, from water skiing to lakeside picnicking,” he said.


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