2009 – The Raising of Burdekin Falls Dam

David Ryan, Simone Gillespie

The Burdekin Falls Dam is the largest of the 19 dams owned by SunWater. The dam is located on the Burdekin River at AMTD 159.3km, approximately 210 km south of Townsville and supplies water for irrigation, urban and industrial development in the lower Burdekin Region. The dam has such unique features as the largest spillway of any dam in Australia and a catchment area of 114,770 km2, which is equivalent to about 1.7 times the land area of Tasmania. It is proposed to raise the dam to provide a more certain water supply for the North Queensland region. This paper outlines the features of the existing structure, the influence of the revised hydrology since the time of its construction and the options considered in the planning and design of the raised structure.

Keywords: Burdekin Falls Dam, unique features, spillway, fuse plug.

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