The strategy, which secures a reliable bulk water supply for the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour, has two key elements: a $180 million bulk water supply project coupled with a regional water efficiency program.
NSW Public Works was appointed by Clarence Valley Council to project manage, investigate, design and manage the construction.
The dam comprises a 47 metre high zoned earthfill embankment with a crest length of 400 metres and a capacity of 30,000 megalitres. Associated works include a spillway, inlet/outlet tower, pipework, pumping station, valve house destratification system, public viewing area, picnic facilities and a 66kV/11kV substation.
The design of the dam enables future raising of the embankment without having to relocate or remove existing infrastructure. The current capacity of the storage is 30,000 megalitres. Raising of the crest by 9.6 metres will increase the capacity to 70,000 megalitres.
NSW Public Works’ experience in the design and construction of dams, along with its proven experience in project and contract management, resulted in the successful delivery of this important regional asset.
The NSW Public Works team was supported by highly-qualified professional advisers in the disciplines of environmental planning, environmental law and strategic community consultation.
The Early Tenderer Involvement process that is now widely used across NSW was first developed for the Shannon Creek Dam contract.
Prior to the completion of the Regional Water Supply project, separate water schemes supplied the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour. The strategy has linked these schemes, providing a high level of drought security and improved protection of the rivers from which the water is extracted. The dam will provide sufficient water to meet community needs well beyond 2035.
Shannon Creek Dam has won industry accolades for its timely delivery within budget while achieving environmental outcomes of the highest standard. The extensive community consultation program resulted in wide public support for the project.
The biodiversity of Shannon Creek has been protected by the installation of equipment that releases water from the storage to mimic the natural creek flows.
Environmental protection areas have been established in the vicinity of the dam, including riparian areas downstream of the dam, buffer zones around the storage and 1100 hectares of compensatory habitat