This page contains information about North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority commissioned reports, analysis, etc.

Note: All reports should be considered as for deliberative purposes only, and do not represent Australian Government policy.

Concept Level Review: Hells Gates Dam—Webb Lake Transfer

In mid 2019, the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority commissioned consultants GHD to undertake a concept review and cost estimate update of a previously analysed element of the proposed Bradfield Scheme involving the large scale diversion of water from the potential Hells Gates Dam on the upper Burdekin River, south to an assumed terminal storage in the immediate environs of Webb Lake. The purpose behind the desktop analysis was to provide insight into the possible creation of a large agricultural zone located at Webb Lake, utilising water impounded at the Hells Gates Dam.

Key findings of the GHD Report:

  1. It is technically possible to divert significant volumes of water (up to 700,000 megalitres per year) to the Webb Lake area under gravity via a purpose built channel.
  2. Estimated capital and operational expenditures vary significantly, based upon the desired irrigation area, and the capacity of the water transfer channel. Based on a likely maximum irrigation area of around 56,000 hectares, GHD estimate capital costs of $4.56 billion and operational costs around $53 million per year.
  3. Based on the estimated sustainable yield of Hells Gates Dam, water transferred to Webb Lake would likely negatively impact the irrigation opportunity along the upper Burdekin River.

Hells Gates Dam/Webb Lake - Possible Route

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Figure—Hells Gates Dam/Webb Lake—Possible Route

The GHD Report acknowledges the high level nature of the analysis, with further detailed study required to provide robust, investment-ready costings and data.

Concept Level Review of Hells Gates Dam—Webb Lake Transfer PDF: 3.5 MB