Borumba Dam

Author : J. V. Hodgkinson F. C. A. Chartered Accountant : Aug 2006 to November 2013    

The principal thrust of this website is
FLOOD PROOFING BRISBANE from damaging floods to the point of extinction. MITIGATING flooding in Ipswich and Gympie. Putting REAL MEANING into "Drought proofing SEQ" and ensuring our water supplies by natural means well into the future

This is my review based on official statistics and documents. It is done in conjunction with Ron McMah, grazier of Imbil and Trevor Herse, retired of the Gold Coast




May 2009:

Borumba Dam expansion is an important component of both the Traveston stage 2 plan and the McMah plan.

As you will read it is currently a small dam of 45,000ML and yielding 35,000ML annually.

There has been no argument that it can be expanded to a dam of 2,000,000ML and beyond. This was information provided by Government appointed engineers GHD. We already own all the land and it is a natural amphitheatre.

The main purpose for expansion to 2,000,000ML, or to be the largest dam in Queensland, is for storage for all of the dams in South East Queensland principally the Wivenhoe/Somerset. At the same time all "uncommon events" that now flow over the dam wall will be trapped increasing the yield beyond the calculation below.

Engineers GHD in their report of the 18/05/06 calculated Borumba yield GHD.jpg (109865 bytes)an additional yield of 30,800ML excluding all Weirs. The dam storage capacity used was 460,000ML or approximately 1/4 of the expanded size to 2,000,000ML. The all up yield  set out in yellow by me comes to 80,500ML. This is compared to the QWC graph handed to Mr Ron McMah of 51,000ML.

The GHD results were based on the the Department of Natural Resources HYNF studies done specifically for their report ( Refer to first 2 lines).



Original website resumes

Yield from stage 2. provided to Mr R McMah

This Dam forms part of the stage 2 of the Traveston Crossing Dam. The intent is to raise the wall 30 meters and provide an additional yield 40,000ML per annum. 

Currently the Dam capacity is 46,000ML and with the wall raising, the capacity will be 350,000ML. ( Reference is Ministerial media statement 5th July 2006. The Premier of Queensland. )

This yield statement was handed to Mr Ron McMah as part of Govt rainfall Ron mcMah.jpg (130676 bytes)the terms of reference to examine his proposal for the Borumba Dam. His submission to the Senate Enquiry is attached at the end of this section. He refused to sign off on this statement.
It appears to calculate the yield on the basis of rainfall. If this is so then there are obvious differences in the approach to rainfall and clear deficiencies. Ms Bligh is reported in the Gympie Times on the 4th April 2007 that the records for the Traveston ( which includes Borumba dam ) area do not go back past 1913. I confirmed this with BOM records. 

What it does show is that the expected yield for the second stage of 40,000ML is based on this yield shown on the statement as 51,000ML.

Official releases from the Borumba Dam from the Department of Natural Resources web-site.

Bor releases 62 to 2002.jpg (296834 bytes)The yield from the Borumba Dam for its life shows a different view to the one provided to Mr McMah. It is in excess of 91,000ML per year and quite possibly in excess of that in view of the differing information from the same source noted on the schedule. 

Comparison with the North Pine Dam.

The "North Pine Dam" button shows that the yield from the Borumba Dam is in the region of 73,314ML yearly after catchment adjustment plus the surplus from floods over the spillway. The North Pine has no flood mitigation. There is photographic evidence of this in 1999.

SEQWater states that the North Pine Dam has the ability to provide 150ML per day during the "worst drought on record". See " North Pine Dam" button. This amounts to 54,750ML each year and converts to 73,314ML with the catchment adjustment, Borumba being the larger. Add to that the lack of flood mitigation in the North Pine.

To argue that Borumba Dam's yield is 51,000ML yearly is to destroy the statement by the professionals at SEQWater. In effect it would guarantee that the North Pine Dam would not live up to the expectations of the South East Qld water resources plan.

Requirement of stage 1 of the Traveston Dam proposal.

You will have seen that the requirement of the Traveston Proposal under the Emergency legislation is 75,000ML a year. See " Traveston Cross" button.

The Borumba yield matches that proposal.

Mr R. McMah's submission to the Senate Committee is set out in full.

It is now timely to set out Mr R McMah's proposal. It is done with his permission.

Ron senate page 3 of 4.jpg (215394 bytes)Ron senate page 1 of 4.jpg (190811 bytes)Ron senate page 2 of 4.jpg (136998 bytes)Ron senate page 4 of 4.jpg (200617 bytes)






The concept differs from the stage 2 proposal in that a 300 Google Bor Close.jpg (399516 bytes) Top of ridge look at dam TH.JPG (353942 bytes)metre wall would provide a cold water DamGoogle Bor Wide.jpg (419603 bytes) with a capacity of 2 million megalitres. It is a natural amphitheatre with steep rocky sides.


The GHD Report

The Desktop review of identified Dam and Weir sites made to the South East Qld Regional water supply strategy bulk water task group has supporting information.

In section 3.12.15 of their report they say " Although a review Bor Milligan P534.jpg (145840 bytes) of further information is required, few factors with a potential to jeopardise the viability of raising the Borumba Dam have been identified." You will see that their charts proceed above the 1,000,000ML mark. 

A Mr Milligan has also provided a submission to the Senate enquiry and he has some additions to these charts that may prove useful. However, it is for the engineers to finally conclude. The originals by GHD are on page 564 of their report.

May 2009: There is no argument concerning the raising of the wall to 2,000,000ML

Matching of my knowledge of uncommon events, Mary Valley, Somerset Dam and Wivenhoe Dam rainfall patterns and Mr McMah's concept for Borumba Dam.

After reading Mr McMah's submission to the Senate Enquiry, I sought out Mr McMah. Having traversed the Borumba Dam and part of its catchment with him it became obvious that with adjacent catchments, the opportunity for harnessing the surplus waters of the uncommon events of the Somerset/Wivenhoe system could be feasible and required detailed investigation.

This follows in "Solution/Base" button.