To prevent further structural damage to Paradise Dam, excess rainwater will be released to downstream storages. Picture: Erica Murree
To prevent further structural damage to Paradise Dam, excess rainwater will be released to downstream storages. Picture: Erica Murree

Rain means free dam water for region

DROUGHT-STRICKEN farmers and locals may soon see an end to their troubles as Paradise Dam operators Sunwater have released hundreds of megalitres of rainwater to the public.

The decision to make the water available has come after recent heavy rainfall has filled the dam northwest of Biggenden to over 56 per cent of its capacity.

The move by water service provider Sunwater means that Bundaberg, Isis and Burnett area farmers can access the dam’s water at no charge, while irrigators and other “medium priority customers” partnered with the company are ensured their water entitlements until the end of June.

A Sunwater media release explained that the water had been released because of the need for servicing and repairs to Paradise Dam, which just last year had come under scrutiny by the Federal Government for structural integrity issues.

The company’s Chairwoman Leith Boully said that while the dam could sustain the stress caused by the recent rainfall, the repairs were still necessary.

“If we were to experience a weather event similar to (the) record flooding in 2013, the dam may fail,” she said.

The newly released water from Paradise Dam is also available to Sunwater customers outside of the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme, the company reported.

Those wishing to take advantage of the offer are urged to contact Sunwater for further details.