February 12, 2020
Sunwater announced on Wednesday that water from Paradise Dam will be made available for irrigators and other users at no charge from Thursday (February 13).
Bundaberg irrigators will also have access to their full water entitlement until the end of June 2020, and the allocation for medium priority customers has been raised from 82 to 100 per cent.
Sunwater started releasing water from the dam this week after it reached 42 per cent capacity.
As part of this process water will be transferred to downstream storages, Ned Churchward Weir and Ben Anderson Barrage.
Maintaining the dam at this level will allow for essential work to strengthen the dam and improve community safety.
Sunwater is currently assessing a shortlist of candidates to conduct the works to lower the spillway.
It is expected a proponent will be announced in March, with contractors on site in April and work commencing on the spillway in May.
“Sunwater has an obligation to retain a reduced supply level in the dam to facilitate work on the dam’s spillway as soon as possible,” Sunwater chair Leith Boully said.
“We will continue to review weather forecasts, monitor inflows and release water as required for the duration of the work.
“While the dam is safe in normal and current forecast weather conditions, if we were to experience a weather event similar to record flooding in 2013, the dam may fail.”