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GHD wins Warragamba Dam concept design contract

In partnership with joint venture partner Stantec, GHD has been awarded the concept design contract for raising the Warragamba Dam in order to reduce flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

Raising the Warragamba Dam, which currently stores about 80% of Sydney’s drinking water supply, is one measure being implemented to reduce flood risk.

Australian National Committee on Large Dams Project Director (and past chairman) Steve Fox said the concept design “is in good hands”, with the team offering up a range of Australian-specific experience.

“To design the significant modifications needed for the new flood mitigation function, our team brings design and construction experience from major dam projects in Australia and internationally, as well as a track record of successfully delivering a variety of projects for WaterNSW,” he said.

Fox added that GHD’s work on dams since the company was established almost 90 years ago and having one of the largest dedicated dam engineering teams in the world led to the contract win.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has the highest flood exposure in New South Wales and, since the construction of the Warragamba Dam in 1960, 20 moderate-to-major floods have affected the valley.

The dam is currently not designed or approved for flood mitigation, but the $14.5 million contract is expected to focus on raising the dam in order to temporarily hold back flows and then control the release of floodwater coming from the Warragamba catchment in large flood events.

“We are proud to be involved in the upgrade of one of Australia’s iconic dams for the benefit of downstream communities,” Fox said.