Burdekin Basin Campaign

The Burdekin Basin hosts a wide range of landscapes and habitats, supporting many flora and fauna species. The various land use systems throughout the Burdekin Basin have significant implications for these species and habitats, as well as the health of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Updates

This link will take you to the latest updates and all previous blog posts relating to this campaign. 

You can provide comment on the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising Project here and the Urannah Project here until 29 January 2021. 

Resources

Dam Proposals and Feasibility Studies

Environmental Studies

Seminar: Ensuring a Viable Burdekin Basin (14 Sept 2020)

Media

Correspondence

Water Security and Dam Stability

Background

There are active proposals for a total of four new dams/weirs on the Burdekin: Hells Gates Dam (HGD); Big Rocks Weir, raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam and Urannah Dam. The cumulative effect of the additional water extraction of these will have a disastrous impact on the health of the Burdekin and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. Impacts include:

a) turning the Burdekin turbid for 12 months of the year below the dams (in the case of the HGD - for 270km or 52% of the Burdekin length), affecting all aquatic life in the river.

b) increased rise of the water table and salination in the Lower Burdekin Irrigation Areas, threatening established crop production.

c) sediment starvation and erosion of Cape Bowling Green (CBG). Breaching of CBG would radically affect Bowling Green Bay, and potentially affect the coastal communities of Cungalla and Jerona.

d) increased nutrient flows to the GBR from additional areas of agriculture. This would further intensify the existing threat to GBR water quality, reef health and biodiversity.

NQCC first raised concerns on the proposal for the Hells Gates Dam in October 2016 and again in November 2019. The Feasibility Study (2018) showed that irrigated agriculture in the proposed areas would not be economic for farmers, and yet a further $24M has been granted for a detailed Business Case Study.

In early 2020, NQCC formed the Burdekin Basin Sub-Committee which has;

a) studied a wide range of reports and academic studies;

b) conducted field visits to inspect sensitive sites (e.g. Cape Bowling Green erosion);

c) hosted a high-level seminar attended by a range of stakeholders (local councils, irrigators, fishing industry and environmental agencies) which covered issues in all areas of the Burdekin Basin;

d) made a submission to the Coordinator General for a coordinated approach to assessing proposals for water extraction and longer-term management of the Burdekin Basin.

This web page brings the results of this work together for all agencies and individuals with responsibilities and concerns for sustainable water management in the Burdekin, and in Australia more generally. The site will be updated as additional information and progress in activities becomes available.

You can read our most recent updates on our blog, and we recommend reading what Queensland Conservation Council has to say about it as well.  You can also read our full review here

 


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.