Geotechnical investigations have started at Wivenhoe Dam in Queensland, Australia, as part of the Wivenhoe Dam Improvement Project. Water Minister Glenn Butcher visited the site to inspect the work being done by engineering company GHD.

These investigations, which are expected to last until late 2024, will assess the ground conditions and foundations of the dam, supporting up to 10 jobs on-site. The 2024-25 Queensland Budget, presented by Premier Steven Miles, allocated $11.46 million for planning work related to this project.

An Options Analysis is also in progress to explore technical upgrade options, informed by these geotechnical investigations. This project represents the most significant upgrade to Wivenhoe Dam since the installation of the auxiliary spillway in 2005.

“Wivenhoe Dam continues to operate safely and this work is vital to ensuring the dam can provide water security and flood mitigation benefits for years to come,” said Minister Butcher. “Of course, all our dams are safe, these upgrades are about making sure they all meet modern engineering standards.

“The planning and geotechnical works currently underway will support Seqwater to assess options for this important project. It’s good to see early investigative works underway which will help to determine the best way forward.”

Seqwater Interim CEO, Will Harpham, added: “Seqwater is getting on with this important project, to make sure our dams meet modern engineering standards. It’s always good to see these important assessments and investigative works continuing to progress.

“We will provide the community with updates as the project progresses through the various stages, with the full upgrade due to be completed by 2035,” he said.

Wivenhoe Dam, constructed in 1984, is South East Queensland’s largest water storage, supplying the greater Brisbane and Ipswich region while also providing flood mitigation benefits.