Search the site

Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams Optimisation Study

The Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams Optimisation Study (PDF, 12.7MB) (WSDOS) presents options for the management of the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the event of a flood.

The options presented seek to improve the use of existing dam infrastructure during a flood to deliver better flood mitigation outcomes. This study was completed in response to recommendations of the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry's final report.

Discussion Paper

The discussion paper (PDF, 638.5KB) is a guide to understanding the WSDOS Report, and provides an overview of what the study involved in addition to the preferred option.

The preferred option changes how the flood mitigation compartment of Wivenhoe Dam is used, allocating more space to protect houses and buildings from damage during a large flood and potentially deliver 5 to 10 per cent less flooding during a major flood.


The Queensland Government sought feedback on the options presented in the WSDOS Report focusing on the most promising new option, labelled in the report as 'Alternative Urban 3'.


The consultation period closed on 30 June 2014.

Information sessions were held at the following locations.

Session details

Date Time Location Address
Tues, 20 May 2014 6 - 8pm Brisbane CBD Conference room 3, 80 George Street, Brisbane, 4000
Wed, 21 May 2014 6 - 8pm Ipswich -Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre 1-17 Denman Street, Leichhardt, 4305
Thurs, 22 May 2014 6 - 8pm Fernvale Indoor Sports Centre 32 Banks Creek Road, Fernvale, 4036
Thurs, 29 May 2014 6 -8pm The Greek Club, West End 29 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane, 4101

Questions or enquiries relating to the studies can be directed to:

Phone: 13 QGOV (13 7468)

About the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams

The Brisbane River catchment has an area of about 15,000 km2 extending from Moreton Bay to the Great Dividing Range. This catchment includes the major sub-catchments of the Upper Brisbane, Stanley and Bremer rivers and Lockyer Creek. Average annual rainfall ranges from 1,700 mm at Peachester above Somerset Dam to 730 mm at Cooyar near the western boundary.

Wivenhoe Dam accounts for about 50 per cent of the total Brisbane River catchment area and is one of the largest storages in Queensland. The dam catchment receives approximately 1,000 mm of rainfall annually, mostly occurring in summer. It has a full supply volume of 1,165,000 megalitres for urban water use (including drinking water), and an additional temporary flood storage of approximately 1,835,000 megalitres.

Somerset Dam drains into Wivenhoe Dam and is operated concurrently during floods to maximise the flood mitigation benefits downstream of Wivenhoe Dam. Somerset Dam has a full supply volume of 380,000 megalitres for urban water use (including drinking water), and an additional temporary flood storage of approximately 524,000 megalitres.

Last updated
8 September 2014