Lake Macdonald, Cooroy and Tinbeerwah residents will be contacted by Seqwater this week regarding the scheduled dam upgrade for 2021 as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program. It will be the first major upgrade to the dam since the wall was raised in 1980. The upgrade will involve building a new concrete spillway and reconstructing the embankments to better protect the structure against extreme events of nature.
Seqwater has been looking at ways to reduce the environmental and social impacts of the construction project and redesigning the spillway to better protect aquatic life. The new design includes an ‘ogee style’ spillway which will improve the passage of fish and turtles downstream when the storage is full. They are also looking at ways to reduce construction traffic during project implementation.
They will commence the construction of early works for the project this year, including replacing the existing bridge to the Noosa Water Treatment Plant and relocating existing services and utilities. Improvements to the SEQ Water Grid will also be undertaken so that they can continue to provide water to the Noosa region during the construction period. These upgrades aim to deliver the long-term benefit of permanently improving water supply security for Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.
To safely build the new dam Seqwater will first need to temporarily lower the water level in the lake. The lake lowering is scheduled to take place in 2021, weather permitting. However, should dry conditions continue, the lake lowering and overall project timing will be subject to further water supply security assessments as required. An aquatic management plan is being developed to prepare for the relocation of aquatic life during the lake lowering timeframe.
The lake will now remain open to recreation activities throughout 2020, including fishing and paddling.
For more information, please visit seqwater.com.au/project/lake-macdonald-dam-upgrade or freecall 1800 902 294 to speak with their project team.