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Queensland flood inquiry recommends dam changes

An inquiry into Queensland’s floods in January has called for the government to ensure water levels at a major dam are reduced if weather forecasts indicate another heavy wet season.

If the Bureau of Meteorology makes a seasonal forecast for the 2011/2012 wet season that is similar to last year’s, the government should temporarily reduce the full supply level of Wivenhoe Dam to 75%, the interim report published on Monday said.

The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry’s interim report made a series of recommendations to the Queensland government.

The report said water supplier Seqwater should review all arrangements for the operation of dams during flood events for the entire wet season by 30 September each year.

It also called for Seqwater to immediately recruit additional flood engineers and establish a formal flood event operation training program for junior engineers.

Meanwhile, the report recommended that power distributors review network switching options so that power is disconnected only to those who are flooded, and that they consider pre-emptively installing generators in areas known to become isolated during flooding.

Local disaster management groups were recommended to identify communities whose location means they could become isolated by similar disasters, and establish specific disaster management arrangements for those communities.

The full list of recommendations can be accessed here.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Interesting! How dependable and accurate are the longer term weather forecasts? How dependent are the areas around the dams on these dams for water supply? There have been many periods of drought in Queensland and the available stored water is simply gold dust! Which senior manager of which organisation will have the courage and take the responsibility for dumping water well in advance based on weather forecasts of future very heavy downpours?

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