Future of Grey Mountain Dams 1 and 2

Background

The Grey Mountain Dams are located 8.5 km north east of Cygnet in the Snug Tiers Recreation Area. The two dams were originally constructed to provide a secure water supply for Cygnet, however, with the introduction of the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme these dams are no longer required for the town's water supply.

While the dams are no longer required for water supply, the law requires us to operate and maintain the dams in a safe manner. The condition of the dams has been assessed as unsatisfactory, with the risk to society being above the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Limit of Tolerability.

These dams are expensive to repair and to operate. It has been estimated that TasWater would need to spend in the order of $2.2 million to repair the No.1 dam and $1.7 million to repair the No.2 dam, with ongoing maintenance estimated at $60,000 per year for both dams.

Community engagement

TasWater explored opportunities to divest the structures to a suitable organisation that would then upgrade and manage them. We discussed the dams with key stakeholders such as the Huon Valley Council, DPIPWE and the Tasmanian Fire Service, and none were in a position to take over responsibility for the dams. We also undertook a community survey to understand community views on the future of the dams. The survey closed on Friday 7 September 2018 and there were seventeen responses. While some survey participants were keen to have the structures maintained as a water supply, no suitable parties were found to take over the dams.

Our decision about the dams

As no suitable persons were identified through our community engagement process, TasWater has decided to decommission the Dams. TasWater is in the process of preparing the required documentation to apply for a Dam Works Permit to decommission the structures. We will, however, consider transferring ownership of the dams to another entity, should a suitable organisation come forward in the near future.

Prior to decommissioning, TasWater additionally plans to undertake further interim risk reduction works at the sites. These interim risk reduction works will commence in March 2019. We are liaising with the Dam Safety Regulator and other key stakeholders relating to this.

It is expected the decommissioning work will occur in the summer of 2019/20 and take around three months to complete.

We will inform our key stakeholders and the survey participants directly of this outcome, and inform the broader community through advertisements in the Huon News in February 2019.

Background

The Grey Mountain Dams are located 8.5 km north east of Cygnet in the Snug Tiers Recreation Area. The two dams were originally constructed to provide a secure water supply for Cygnet, however, with the introduction of the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme these dams are no longer required for the town's water supply.

While the dams are no longer required for water supply, the law requires us to operate and maintain the dams in a safe manner. The condition of the dams has been assessed as unsatisfactory, with the risk to society being above the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Limit of Tolerability.

These dams are expensive to repair and to operate. It has been estimated that TasWater would need to spend in the order of $2.2 million to repair the No.1 dam and $1.7 million to repair the No.2 dam, with ongoing maintenance estimated at $60,000 per year for both dams.

Community engagement

TasWater explored opportunities to divest the structures to a suitable organisation that would then upgrade and manage them. We discussed the dams with key stakeholders such as the Huon Valley Council, DPIPWE and the Tasmanian Fire Service, and none were in a position to take over responsibility for the dams. We also undertook a community survey to understand community views on the future of the dams. The survey closed on Friday 7 September 2018 and there were seventeen responses. While some survey participants were keen to have the structures maintained as a water supply, no suitable parties were found to take over the dams.

Our decision about the dams

As no suitable persons were identified through our community engagement process, TasWater has decided to decommission the Dams. TasWater is in the process of preparing the required documentation to apply for a Dam Works Permit to decommission the structures. We will, however, consider transferring ownership of the dams to another entity, should a suitable organisation come forward in the near future.

Prior to decommissioning, TasWater additionally plans to undertake further interim risk reduction works at the sites. These interim risk reduction works will commence in March 2019. We are liaising with the Dam Safety Regulator and other key stakeholders relating to this.

It is expected the decommissioning work will occur in the summer of 2019/20 and take around three months to complete.

We will inform our key stakeholders and the survey participants directly of this outcome, and inform the broader community through advertisements in the Huon News in February 2019.