Early-release strategy for Wivenhoe Dam to prevent flooding

EARLY release of water from Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the summer wet season is now formally part of the operating strategies in place at each dam.

The early release of water has been introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2011 flooding disaster in Ipswich and Brisbane, and has been in planning since April.

It was first recommended in a study on Wivenhoe and Somerset following the floods.

Queensland's Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle today released the new strategies for Wivenhoe Dam, Somerset Dam and North Pine dam designed to minimise flooding.

In a statement, Mr McArdle said the early release of water at Wivenhoe could mean up to 1500 fewer buildings would flood across both Ipswich and Brisbane if there was a repeat of the 2011 floods.

"There is no question the region will see major flooding in the future," he said.

"In simple terms, the strategies allow more space in the dams to better cope with flood waters."

Wivenhoe Dam is currently about 80% full, and Somerset Dam sits at 96.5%.

Mr McArdle warned the early release of water from Wivenhoe and Somerset dams would not prevent all floods.

"Wivenhoe and Somerset dams are both upstream of Lockyer Creek and the Bremer River and cannot protect us from floods coming down those watercourses."

He said it was also likely to cause the bridge at Colleges Crossing to close more frequently during flooding.



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