QLD – YP Event Wivenhoe Dam Site Visit, August 18th 2023

by Joel Eadie, Erin Hughes

Joel Eadie

A group of ANCOLD YPs visited Wivenhoe Dam, the main water supply for Brisbane and the surrounding region in Queensland, Australia. The group was given a tour of the dam by Seqwater, including a visit to the dam embankment, spillway, and fuse plugs. They also learned about dam safety, operational aspects in addition to upgrades being considered.

Wivenhoe Dam consists of an earth and rock embankment, with a concrete spillway section on which five steel crest gates are installed. The dam is operated by Seqwater and is a vital part of the water supply and flood protection infrastructure for South East Queensland. The dam plays an important role in ensuring that the region has a reliable water supply, and protecting the region from flooding by storing excess water during heavy rainfall events.

During the visit, Seqwater facilitated a tour and discussion of the embankment, fuse plugs, spillways, instrumentation and v-notch weir for monitoring seepage. This included a walkover on the embankment crest, with an aerial view of the steel crest gates and ancillary infrastructure used for controlled discharge from Wivenhoe Dam. Downstream of the embankment, YPs gained an understanding of emergency flood preparedness, with a discussion and viewing of the fuse plugs, in addition to learning about monitoring aspects and instrumentation in use.

In the Seqwater training facilities, YPs learned about the various safety features of the dam, as well monitoring and maintenance aspects. In addition to the safety features, the young professionals also learned about the upgrades that are being made to improve the dam’s performance.

The visit to Wivenhoe Dam was a valuable learning experience for the young professionals who attended, gaining a better understanding of the importance of operational aspects, dam safety and the role that dams play in protecting communities from flooding. Thank you to Seqwater for hosting this great event & contributing to the development of ANCOLD YPs.

Joel Eadie & Erin Hughes | QLD YP State Reps

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