General News

Shannon Creek Dam Image: Clarence Valley Council.

Dam experts’ partner with Clarence Valley Council

Dam experts from WaterNSW were in Grafton last Thursday partnering with Clarence Valley Council to enhance the monitoring of local dam infrastructure.

The visit to Shannon Creek Dam and Rushforth Road 100ML Reservoir on March 14 was the next step in a WaterNSW partnership with Council under the NSW Government’s

Town Water Risk Reduction Program (TWRRP).

“One of the big lessons from the most recent drought is the water sector must collaborate more closely to build expertise and provide better access to niche skills outside normal local government functions,” WaterNSW Executive Manager Strategy & Performance, Fiona Smith, said.

“One of those niche but critically important functions are the five-yearly risk reviews required under the Dams Safety Act 2015 to protect local communities and dam infrastructure.

“WaterNSW is a national leader in the water sector, operating most of the large dams in NSW, which is why our experts are well placed to help councils and local water utilities identify risk and fast track improvements to dam safety and water quality.

“The site visits to Shannon Creek Dam and Rushforth Road Reservoir are the first steps in our partnership with Clarence Valley Council.

“We’re delighted to have our team working alongside Council officers to advise on their next risk review of these important local dams, and to advise on other potential compliance improvement measures,” Fiona said.

The TWRRP is a whole-of-government response that brings the strengths of major entities in the water sector, like WaterNSW, to local councils, who can choose to tap into the skills and knowledge that will best assist them.

Clarence Valley was one of six regional councils that helped WaterNSW pilot phase one of the TWRRP in 2022. In phase two, WaterNSW has received NSW Government funding to work with councils on source water quality and dam safety risk assessments, while the NSW Department of Climate Change, the Environment, Energy and Water (DCCEEW) delivers expertise on water treatment facilities