Coolmunda Dam, located near Inglewood in Australia, is undergoing various initiatives to bolster its reliability and improve the catchment's flood warning network. Dam operator, Sunwater, has engaged Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure to carry out maintenance work and address erosion issues to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the dam.

One significant aspect of the project involves upgrading the dam's gates by reinforcing the counterweights. To accomplish this, a custom lifting frame has been designed and constructed, enabling the extraction of four 15-tonne weights from their vertical gate chambers. This innovative approach is necessary as a traditional crane cannot perform the required lifts. The counterweights have been in service since the dam's construction in 1968. The project is expected to generate approximately 20 jobs, with four positions specifically reserved for Goondiwindi residents.

Glenn Butcher, Queensland's Minister for Water, emphasized the critical nature of these maintenance works, stating, "These works will guarantee this important piece of infrastructure continues to support agriculture and industry in the region for many years to come." He further highlighted the positive economic impact that local engagement in the project would bring to the community.

Concurrently, McCoskers Contracting will be undertaking repairs in areas downstream of the dam that have been affected by bank erosion during flood events. The repairs will involve the use of rock and concrete to fortify the banks, ensuring their resilience in future flood events.

According to Sunwater CEO Glenn Stockton, these gate and erosion works will enhance Coolmunda Dam's operational reliability during weather events. He expressed confidence that the maintenance efforts, along with the innovative lifting frame, will increase the dam's resilience, health, and longevity, benefiting its spillway gate operations. Moreover, the lifting frame will be retained for future gate refurbishments at Coolmunda Dam.

The project is projected to be completed by September 2023, depending on weather conditions. It is estimated that approximately $1.2 million will be spent locally on materials, accommodation, and food, further contributing to the regional economy.

In addition to the maintenance works, the Coolmunda Dam catchment flood warning network is also undergoing upgrades to enhance forecast accuracy and provide more precise weather event data. The installation of new rainfall and river flow gauges in the upper catchment area at Waroo and along Treverton Creek is underway. Additionally, an existing river flow gauge at Artunga will be relocated further downstream of the Macintyre Brook.

Following a flood event in December 2021, collaborative discussions involving Sunwater, the Goondiwindi Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) underscored the need for improvements in the flood warning system.

Mayor Lawrence Springborg AM of the Goondiwindi Regional Council highlighted the significance of these works in providing enhanced rainfall and river flow data during major rainfall events. He emphasized the importance of accurate real-time information for the LDMG, BoM, and Sunwater in forecasting and decision-making related to significant rainfall events. Sunwater will assume ownership of the gauges and share flood warning data with other stakeholders during emergencies.