In 2012-13, we commissioned an independent review of our 26 referable dams, which found improvements are needed at a number of our dams to meet the Queensland dam safety guidelines into the future.

We have prioritised a program of dam upgrades in a staged approach to give us time to scope, design and plan, while maintaining public safety, security of water supply and delivering best value for money.

Somerset Dam is one of a number of dams identified for upgrade in the next six years.

Somerset Dam upgrade

In January 2016, the drinking water levels of Somerset and Wivenhoe dams were temporarily lowered to 80% and 90% respectively, as part of our Dam Improvement Program.

Temporarily lowering the drinking water levels of the dams has allowed us to manage the safety of both dams, while we undertake further work to determine the detailed scope, design and timing of improvements required at Somerset Dam. 

Both dams will remain lowered until the upgrade of Somerset Dam is complete.

It's important to recognise that Somerset Dam managed both the 1974 flood, the largest since the dam was built, as well as the 2011 large flood event.

Preliminary geotechnical investigations and minor works were completed at the dam in 2016. Work will continue throughout 2017 to finalise the scope and timing of further improvement works required at the dam. Additional geotechnical investigations may be required in 2017 as part of this process and the design phase is expected to begin in 2018.

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