Another secret plan for Warragamba Dam

Another secret plan for Warragamba Dam

After secret plans to raise Warragamba Dam wall by 17 metres (not 14 metres) were leaked to the media last week[1], the Premier has accidentally divulged yet another secret Infrastructure NSW plan for the controversial dam project.

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Gladys Berejiklian said raising Warragamba Dam wall would “make sure into the future we also have capacity for extra water storage”[2]. This is contrary to what Infrastructure NSW have publicly stated are their reasons for wanting to raise the dam wall.

Infrastructure NSW CEO, Jim Betts, said under oath in a NSW Parliament inquiry into the dam raising that inundation of the 4,700 hectares of World Heritage Area upstream of the raised dam would only occur “on a temporary basis” for flood mitigation[3]. This would not be the case if the raised dam was to be used for additional drinking water storage.

GIVE A DAM Campaigner, Harry Burkitt, said: “It is clear Infrastructure NSW are hiding many facts about this dam project from the public. The Premier’s comments reveal yet another Infrastructure NSW scheme being plotted behind the scenes.

“The Premier’s comments directly contravene the evidence given by Jim Betts, the CEO of Infrastructure NSW, to a NSW Parliamentary inquiry held into the dam wall raising. Either Mr Betts misled the NSW Parliament, or the Premier doesn’t know what she is talking about.

“Infrastructure NSW must once again come clean on what their real agenda is behind this deeply unpopular dam project. Do they want to raise the dam for water storage, or for flood mitigation? They simply can’t have both.”

UNSW water expert, Professor Stuart Khan, said: “Infrastructure NSW simply can’t use the raised dam for both flood mitigation and drinking water storage. It is scientifically impossible to use it for both purposes.”

“Raising the Warragamba Dam wall to provide more drinking water capacity is likely to be very expensive and unreliable. There are far cheaper and more efficient ways to produce drinking water for Sydney, most notably water recycling and desalination.”

Media contact
Harry Burkitt
harry@colongwilderness.org.au
0490 010 909

Available for interview.
[1]  Sydney Morning Herald, https://bit.ly/2TKvA9X
[2] Premier responds to questions on plan to raise Warragamba wall, https://bit.ly/2HE2YaM
[3] Page 34, WaterNSW Amendment (Warragamba Dam) Bill 2018 Inquiry, https://bit.ly/2W0uO59