Final Solution & EIS

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 : As this is the actual submission lodged in December 2007 

there is no change to this section


This submission was made under the alternative section of the Environmental 
Impact Study (EIS) on the 31st December 2007. 

This entire website also formed part of the submission.

It concludes that the harvesting of surplus water that now flows over the spillway of
the Wivenhoe Dam in times of flood plus the expansion of the Borumba Dam to 
a 2 million ML storage Dam will prove to be a superior alternative to the proposed 
Traveston Crossing Dam. 

It will provide a buffer against the possible interruption to our water supplies through
Climate Change. The size of the buffer, being the expanded Borumba Dam, is 2 million ML
and that capacity is greater than the capacity of all Dams in South East Queensland. 
The Traveston Crossing Dam Dam will provide no such insurance.





First of all, this submission sets out the grounds for the submission. They are :-

Pages 1-4. 
My view of the fundamental flaws in the documents provided for the justification
of the Dam at the Traveston Crossing.

Pages 4-8
My view of the fundamental flaws in the hydrology report on the inter basin transfers 
I.E. The transfer of surplus water from the Wivenhoe/Somerset System in times of major 
Meteorology events to the expanded Borumba Dam and returned in times when they
are absent and the provision of additional water to the System collected in the 
expanded Borumba Dam. This aspect has already been dealt with in Qld Govt Reports 
in the previous section.

Pages 1-11
Climate change and other matters relevant to the submission.

The submission then explains important aspects that need examination before the
alternative project is considered. They are :-

Pages 12-15
Uncommon events (Large Meteorology events such as Monsoons and Cyclones)

Pages 16-18
Concatenation (linking together) of uncommon events.

Page 19

This set the scene for the project to replace the Traveston Crossing Dam

Page 20-26
Available surplus water

Page 27
Expected flow volumes

Page 28-30
Expected pumping requirements

Pages 31-41
Engineering applicable to the Pipeline
Dam construction and estimated costs (expanded Borumba Dam)
Pipeline construction and estimated costs
Hydro Plant
Operating costs of the Pipeline

Page 42

Attachments are integrated in this website.


                                                                     Page 1

Grounds of this submission




In my view the EIS is fundamentally flawed in two aspects. They are:-

·       The justification of the Dam at Traveston Crossing and

·       The justification for dismissing the Inter Basin transfer of surplus water from 
the Wivenhoe/Somerset to the enhanced Borumba Dam in times of large scale 
Meteorological events such as Monsoons, Cyclones or large rain depressions. 
The reverse transfer to occur in times such as we are now experiencing. 

Flawed Justification of the Dam at Traveston Crossing

This is drawn from two sections. The overview on page 1-2 of Chapter one and the 
Project overview- Need for the project-  of chapter two on pages 2-6 & 7.

The flaws encountered in the “overview”:

(1) “Consequently, the Traveston Crossing Dam Project has been identified as one 
A 22 SKM.jpg (218156 bytes) of Queensland Government’s major new water infrastructure 
initiatives for SEQ region



Response: The matter of consequence was the comparison of the Upper Mary
catchment with the Wivenhoe and its catchment, the Brisbane River
The Somerset Dam
and its catchment the Stanley River should have been the 
comparison. The Somerset catchment is the Stanley River. It is 1/3 the size of 
the Wivehoe catchment, the Brisbane River, but 3 times more efficient. It 
receives 30% more rainfall than the Wivenhoe (SEQWater information) which 
converts to a higher inflow figure. The calculations of the foregoing are set out 
in attachments 6, 7 and 13.

2004_Dam_graphs_analysis_2.jpg (222047 bytes)2004 Dam graphs analysis 2 support.jpg (187794 bytes)





That the Wivenhoe Dam and its catchment is our main source of water supply is 
an elementary error which is adopted by a high percentage of lay people. In 
my view, the comparison used in the EIS has added credence to a common 
misstatement of fact.

As a consequence of this misdirected comparison, the inefficiency of the 
proposed Traveston Dam was masked. You will see that the Somerset and 
its catchment provide some 260,000ML annualized with 10% less rainfall whereas 
the Traveston all three stages will provide a total of 150,000ML. It does not 
provide beyond 2050 and there is no additional storage facility to combat 
natural and man made climate change.
Dam_features_from_SEQWater_Web.jpg (215540 bytes)Mry valey station numbers 65 to 06.jpg (229680 bytes)Somerset_65_06_Sum_and_Non.jpg (317322 bytes)Wivenhoe_65_06_Sum_Non_Sum.jpg (267816 bytes)





This flaw, of itself, opens up the consideration of other proposals


                                                                                                                        Page 2

The flaws encountered in “need for the project”

There are several paragraphs in this “need for the Project” which deal with the 
perceived “drought” conditions of the last six to seven years. They are largely contained 
in the last 2 paragraphs in section 2.3 on page 2-6 and the first three paragraphs on the 
next page (2-7.)

To me they demonstrate the lack of understanding of the two types of rainfall that 
occur in the catchments of all of South East Queensland Dams and as a consequence 
solutions to the problem have been overlooked. The rainfall types are:

The normal summer rain that falls year after year. The 4 summer months December to 
March receive more than 50% of rainfall and this high rainfall tends to make the creeks 
flow. The remaining 8 months receive the balance and rarely provide major inflow. The 
overall catchment rainfall has never been lower than 76.8% of the long term 
This has been confirmed by Department of Natural Resources and Water and 
the Bureau of Meteorology email to me dated 25th August 2006 and included in this 
Summer V Non Sum Percent.jpg (197951 bytes)BOM_e_mail_25_08_06_Page_1.jpg (126163 bytes)




The large scale meteorological events known as “uncommon events” by SEQWater

They are Monsoons, Cyclones and large rain depressions. They generally cover all of SEQ.
Summer Rain Courier Mail 10 02 7.jpg (371046 bytes)



They have the capacity to fill the Dams in a few days whereas the summer rains 
provide an average annual fill of 11%.

The flaws that the above produced are:-

Comparison with the Federation Drought.

“The Federation drought is the only comparable period…..”

This report was compiled by the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence (QCCCE) 
and headed “The drought to 2007” being the period from February 2001 to January 2007.

Response: This report confirmed that the rainfall in the catchments had never been 
less that 76.8% of the BOM long term average 1961 to 1990.

It was a qualified report as a hydrology report at that time distance was not available. 
The comparison was rainfall.

The overall rainfall was similar but that is the only area that they were in agreement.  
The summer rains that produce inflow were normal in the current period at 99.7% 
for the Wivenhoe and 91.4% for the Somerset. The deficiency was in the non summer 
months that rarely create inflow.
Federation_drought.jpg (241659 bytes)Federation_grading.jpg (170988 bytes)




The Federation drought period shows the rainfall evenly spread out over the whole 
of the period with little ability to create inflow. Refer attachment 4 & 5.

                                                                                                             Page 3

All of the rainfall for all months in both periods is included in this submission for general 
viewing and support of this response. Refer attachments 4 & 5.

In my view, the use of this report to claim vindication for a drought is a flawed argument.

(3) Remaining drought related statements

There are five remaining drought related statements intertwined. They are contained in 
the two following statements.

“SEQ is experiencing the compounding effects of the worst drought in more than 
100 years, a booming population and the prospect of continuing irregular rainfall due 
to natural climatic variability and long-term climate change
. (Page 2 – 6)”

“Most parts of SEQ have been affected to some degree by lack of reliable rainfall 
over recent years. Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) rainfall deficiency maps 
show 1st July 2004 to 30th June 2007 as the driest three year period on record for 
inland parts of the Wivenhoe catchment. Other……”


Booming population

The Queensland Government graph and figures of population growth show a steady 
and predictable growth since 1984 at the start of the Wivenhoe Dam to the current 
date. The graph is included in this submission. (attachment 26) To suggest that it 
should be included in a compound effect is, in my view, erroneous.

Pop_graph_4.jpg (86814 bytes)



The question not asked is: How did this massive Dam manage to fill from scratch, 
service this population growth until 2001 and then drop like a stone in a period 
when summer rains were quite normal at 99.7% in the Wivenhoe and 91.4% in 
the Somerset ? (Attachment 8 & 9)
Dam levels official revised Wivenhoe.jpg (151526 bytes)Somerset_65_06_Sum_and_Non.jpg (317322 bytes)Wivenhoe_65_06_Sum_Non_Sum.jpg (267816 bytes)Mry valey station numbers 65 to 06.jpg (229680 bytes)



  Worst drought in 100 years, BOM rainfall deficiency maps, climatic variables and 
inland Wivenhoe deficiency maps.


The source of the term “worst drought in 100 years” is the BOM rainfall deficiency 
maps. They are generally shown without the corresponding rainfall percentage map 
that is more informative and less misleading due to the consequences of the next 
two paragraphs.

The Bureau of Meteorology measures rainfall against the long term average 1961 
to 1990. This period includes the deluge of 1974 and two “uncommon events” 
of 1988 and

                                                                                                             Page 4         

1989 that filled the brand new Wivenhoe Dam. Discussions with the BOM confirmed that 
they do not make exception for these “uncommon events”.

The last six year period does not include any of these “uncommon events” and naturally 
produced a rainfall deficiency when all that really happened was the normal walkabout 
of these events. The graph in this submission is set out on page 14 and shows the 
yearly gaps created when “uncommon events” decide to depart the scene.

The six year decile recording for the last century is included in this submission. Almost 
all of the six year periods that did not have an “uncommon event” congregate in the 
lower half of the decile graph. (Attachment 12) Out of a total of 106 years there is 
only one exception in those 48 years without uncommon events.
Decile_Graph_1899_to_2006_W.jpg (226292 bytes)




To answer the question under Booming Population, the Wivenhoe had 
five “uncommon events from 1988 to 1999 with a top-up in February 2001. They 
created spill over the Dam wall on four occasions.
Dam levels official revised Wivenhoe.jpg (151526 bytes)




The use of decile map to “prove” a position in the catchment is fraught with difficulty 
because of the BOM measurement method.

This is highlighted in the use by SKM of the inland deficiency map of the Wivenhoe 
catchment. In the first place, one will see from this submission that the Wivehoe 
is very much the junior partner in the provision of water that finds its way into the 
Wivenhoe Storage Dam. In the second place, the decile map is not accompanied 
by the percentage map. The same principles about “uncommon events” enumerated 
above, apply.

It should be obvious by now that the cause of our current predicament is the 
unpredictable timing of “uncommon events”. It raises the question as to whether 
the use of water from these events can be better managed particularly through 
inter-basin transfers.
Uncommon events 20th century.jpg (295642 bytes)



Justification for dismissing inter-basin transfers

The justification for dismissing the Inter Basin transfer of surplus water from 
the Wivenhoe/Somerset to the enhanced Borumba Dam -

-in times of large scale Meteorological events such as Monsoons, Cyclones or 
large rain depressions. The reverse transfer to occur in times such as we are now 
Appendix Page 1.jpg (19327 bytes)Appendix Page 2.jpg (301234 bytes)Appendix Page 3.jpg (184080 bytes)






Examination of appendix “A” of  Gilbert and Associates and concurrence by SKM


In my view the subject of inter-basin transfers ( Wivenhoe/Somerset to 
Borumba and the reverse) the EIS of SKM is fundamentally flawed

                                                                                                            Page 5


SKM’s only reference to this particular Inter-Basin subject is the second last 
paragraph on page 2-28.
A33 SKM.jpg (220651 bytes)






The study also looked at the issue of inter-basin transfers between Borumba 
Dam in the Mary Valley Basin and the Wivenhoe/Somerset System in the
. For inter-basin transfers to occur, two conditions need to be 
simultaneously met, namely Borumba Dam needs to be overflowing and the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system needs to have freeboard capacity. The conclusion…”

You will observe that their statement is a virtual quote from the Gilbert and 
Associates appendix “A” assessment in lines 35 to 44. I am unable to find where 
SKM supplied any critical analysis. Therefore they rely entirely upon the 
assessment of Gilbert and Associates contained in their Appendix “A” “Preliminary 
assessment of potential for inter-basin transfer” which, in my view, is 
a fundamentally flawed document
Appendix Page 2.jpg (301234 bytes)





The reasons for my conclusions that they are fundamentally flawed documents 

Gilbert and Associates appendix: “A”

Gilbert and Associates Assessment of Inter-Basin Transfer ( Brisbane
and Mary River Basins .)

(1)   This title, which may be technically correct, does not convey the full intent

Conclusion:  Approximately 65% of the water in the Wivenhoe/Somerset 
System comes from the Stanley River. Refer to page 1 in this submission

(2) The McMah proposal Dam size

Line 50/51. The size required under stage 3 of the McMah proposal ( between 
1,500 and 2,000GL(2,000,000ML) ) and ….

Conclusion : The Dam required under the McMah proposal is clearly 2,000 GL. 
It is on page 1 of his submission to the Senate Enquiry which predates this 
assessment. This fact has an important flawed influence on conclusions 
drawn by them and graphs supplied by them. For example, the graph on dam 
levels was commenced at year 1900 instead of year 1890 which was the 
commencement of their simulated model. The 1893 flood would have filled 
the Dam to 2,000GL and the 1898 flood would have a further spill. Their 
graph commenced at 1,450GL thus altering the balance throughout.
Ron senate page 1 of 4.jpg (190811 bytes)






                                                                                                   Page 6

The Engineers GHD concluded that a Dam wall of EL 230m was feasible for a 
2,000GL Dam and went further to say that a Dam wall of EL320m was also feasible.

Additional component of the McMah proposal

Line 2. Additional component. The Hydrology concentrated on the Mary Valley 
Weirs and the inter-basin transfers rated little mention particularly in the 
Engineering assessment and the cost assessment.

Conclusion: One does not build a 2,000 GL( 2,000,000ML) Dam as an additional 
component. It is the main thrust of the McMah proposal

The requirement for the Borumba to be overflowing before transfers 
could begin

Lines 7 to 9. Transfer would occur from Borumba to Somerset/Wivenhoe 
during periods in which Borumba was overflowing and sufficient freeboard 
existing in the Brisbane River basin storages

Conclusion: The capacity of the enhanced Borumba Dam is 2,000,000ML. The joint 
capacities of the Wivenhoe/Somerset are 1,165,000ML Wivenhoe and 380,000ML 
Somerset totalling 1,545,000ML. There is no apparent reason why this condition 
was placed on the transfer. The releases from the Borumba into the Mary Valley  
would be unaltered. The return transfer of the water to the Wivenhoe/Somerset 
System would contain all of the water withdrawn in times of major surpluses 
and released in times when “uncommon events” were absent and the Dams 
depleted as they are at this time.
Dam_features_from_SEQWater_Web.jpg (215540 bytes)






Influence of large scale meteorological influences known by the Dam 
Managers as “uncommon events”

Lines 49 to 54. The Borumba  catchment is relatively small ( approximately 
465 km2 ) for a Dam required under stage 3 McMah proposal (between 
1,500GL and 2,000GL) as such likely to fill and spill due to the influence of 
large scale meteorological influences which will almost always influence 
the Brisbane River catchment at the same time. As such Borumba is likely 
to be overflowing generally during those times in which Wivenhoe & 
Somerset are also close to Full Supply level.


Conclusion: This is an ideal situation to have on our hands. The Borumba 
enhanced to 2,000GL (2,000,000ML) filled to overflow on numerous occasions 
and available to replenish the depleted Wivenhoe/Somerset when “uncommon 
events” depart for

                                                                                              Page 7

their quite normal walkabout. This absence creates gaps for several years, the 
last being 14 years 1974 to 1988.

Unfortunately it is an elementary error if the DNR & W monthly stream discharge 
volumes at Yabba Creek are to be believed. They are available on the DNR & W 
website and I have reformatted them to show their influence on the Dam supply 
level. Refer to Page 24. The highest peak was 1971 to 1975 when 1,091,290ML 
became available. The total for 1964 to 2002, 38 years, was 2,541,685ML.
Bor releases 62 to 2002.jpg (296834 bytes)




Draft Moreton WRP (Water Resource Plan)

Lines 68 to 83:  Based on NRW simulation modeling, under a scenario of full 
utilization of existing entitlements (i.e. full use of existing licensed extractions) 
there is little to no potential for additional extractions from the system without 
failing the MAF EFO of 68%.   
Notes: NRW, Natural resources and Water:  MAF, 
Mean Annual Flow: EFO, Environmental Flow Objectives. The part of the 
System that we are dealing with is the Wivenhoe/Somerset and their 
catchments. The 68% is placed at the Brisbane end of the Brisbane River Basin .

Conclusion: In my view, this statement fails to recognize that the System 
Dynamics have changed and that the required 68% is maintained and improved.


1.      The 80,000ML surplus water that goes over the spillway currently in 
times of “uncommon events” is to be transferred to and retained in 
the Borumba Dam and returned at a more suitable time. This gives 
no loss or gain

Refer to pages 22-24.

2.      The Expanded Borumba Dam to 2,000GL now gives an annual yield of 
91,000ML. After the normal release into the Mary Valley , there is 
approximately 75,000ML available annually thus giving us an equivalent 
net gain

3.      The Grid system is designed to overcome some of the vagaries 
of “Uncommon events”. At 500ML per day capacity, there is an addition 
of most of this 182,500ML to the system. There is an annual net gain 
to the system of around 140,000ML after the Hinze Dam contribution 
is deducted.

4.       With the Grid system and Summer Rains providing approximately 
1000ML per day, it is quite sufficient for our business as usual needs. 
However, with no draw-down required for a decade or two, there is no 
storage available for “uncommon events” when they return with the 
exception of the first event and possibly part of the second. The 
Summer rains have been quite normal for the last six years. The 
“worst drought in 100 years” is the product of a misused decile map 
with no uncommon events since February 2001 and normal summer 
rainfall. There were 5 events in the short life of the Wivenhoe Dam 
and we came to rely on them thus creating the observed stress on 
the Moreton Region. With 20 events

Refer to page 16

Page 8

in the simulated 111 years and a multitude in the last 60 years of the 
19th Century, they will return.

Refer to page 18

Because there is no storage space and no requirement to draw on 
them in the near future, a close run of uncommon events will mean that 
the major portion of them will be lost over the spillway of the Wivenhoe. 
The calculations of the last 30 years at Page 18 show that this 
concatenation (linking together) of events will provide a loss of 113,096ML 
a year over the spillway that cannot be retained in storage.

Refer to page 15

 With the blocking off of the Borumba Dam to a mere 40,000ML 
by the Traveston proposal, there will be no available space to contain 
these events. It will result in a gain to the Brisbane end of the Brisbane
River Basin
and a loss to the Wivenhoe/Somerset System of 113,096ML.  
This loss should be calculated in the effectiveness of the Traveston 
thus reducing its supply to 36,904ML annually 
(150,000ML – 113,096ML

Our proposal will collect most of this water but not all. It will occur 
at the same time as our proposed retrieval of the GHD identified surplus 
water of 80,000ML on an annualized basis. This will create pressure on the 
safety level of EL 74m and thus a considerable quantity may be lost. The 
capacity of the 2,000GL Borumba Dam will also be tested. This will create 
a gain to the system of a volume not yet determined and may be altered 
by the Engineers if they increase the pumping capacity.


The capacity of the enhanced Borumba Dam to 2,000GL provides 
a suitable buffer to the natural climate change of the first 70 years of 
the 20th Century as evidenced in the charts provided in the addendum 
and the evidence of the Bureau of Meteorology flood information. It also 
provides defense against perceived climate change created by the 
exploding population of the World and its energy requirements. The 
Engineers GHD have identified the suitability of the Borumba for a wall to 
EL 320m which would retain most of the loss with suitable pumping gear.


Transfer from Brisbane river to Mary River

Lines 55 to 66:  There appears to be no argument about the proposal for the 
transfer of water from the “ Brisbane ” River to the Mary Valley .

The sole adverse comment was in relation to the Moreton WRP already dealt 
with. Therefore I will not offer scrutiny of the method employed. This section 
is added for completeness.

                                                                                                      Page 9


It should be apparent to the reader that the basis of the selection of the Traveston 
Crossing as a Dam site is predicated upon substantially flawed information.

The basis of my information is the monthly rainfall figures of all Dam catchment Rainfall 
Stations in the Wivenhoe, Somerset , North Pine, Borumba and the catchment of the
since Bureau records were kept. The information was in EXCEL spreadsheet 
format which aided the production of information. Added to this was information from 
SEQWater website Annual Reports and various publications. Relevant Government 
websites were also examined.
BOM_Sample_station_rainfall.jpg (400725 bytes)







This brings into focus to other methods of managing our water supply requirements.

It is my view that it is the misunderstood effect of “uncommon events” that created 
the problem and hence my interest in their management through Inter-Basin transfers.




Additional Summary of facts and circumstances

·        Engineers GHD in their June 2006 “desk top review of identified Dam & 
sites” considered the Augmentation of the Wivenhoe Dam. In that 
section they considered the hydrology assessment of Department of 
Natural Resources and Water (DNR & W) dated December 2005. An 
increased Dam wall height would provide a further yield of 80,000ML 
on an annualized HNFY (historical no failure yield) basis if the Dam wall 
was raised.  This identifies the surplus water at 80,000ML annualized 
for 111 years 1890 to 2000 that occurs in times of “uncommon events” 
( Monsoons, Cyclones and large rain depressions).  
A 15 GHD.jpg (165455 bytes)A 16 GHD.jpg (100667 bytes)A 17 GHD.jpg (94815 bytes)A 18 GHD.jpg (140368 bytes)






In the same section they considered the alteration of operating 
procedures to lift the current FSL of EL67m in the Wivenhoe. Safety 
level is EL74m. This indicates sufficient time to withdraw all of the 
, referred to in the previous paragraph, from the flood compartments.

·        The surrounding evidence of the expanded Borumba Dam to FSL 230m 
and storage capacity of 2,000,000ML indicates a yield in the region 
of 90,000ML
. The evidence of this yield will be considered in full in 
this submission.

Page 10


·        Examination of the flood heights at Brisbane City for the years 1840 to 
1890 indicate that the 80,000ML calculated above rises to around 189,960ML 
on an annualized basis for the 50 year period. It is also interesting to note 
that the last 30 years of the Twentieth century averaged 123,930ML on 
an annualized basis.

·        The cost of the construction of the new Borumba Dam wall to 230FSL with 
the storage volume of 2,000,000ML has been supplied by the Engineers. 
However it needs to be revisited as it was assessed in three stages.  The 
three stage cost is shown at $1,268 million whereas the GHD costing on the 
dam to 197FSL, 23m less, was $324 million.

·        The pipeline requirements have been assessed and running costs also 
assessed both with engineering assistance. The preliminary engineering 
requirements are in pages 33 to 36 of this submission. The overall costing 
of this part of the project has been assessed at $500 million with 
appropriate caveats at this early stage. This includes all pipes, pumping 
equipment, access roads, electricity, land resumptions, easements, 
intermediate stations etc. The pipe manufacturers indicate a cost of 
pipes and fittings to be around $225 million.


·        Pumping main cost of electricity has been calculated and is listed in the 
Project costs. The cost of the Hydro plant has been assessed by JWP 
engineers at $64 million. The output of the plant has been calculated by 
JWP engineers at 2.8 megawatts. This compares with the output of the 
Wivenhoe at 4.5 megawatts and the Somerset at 4.0 megawatts. This 
output requires further consideration in the light of the capital cost.

·        The overall cost of the project depends on the Dam costing. Including 
the Hydro plant, it appears to be somewhat less than $2 billion. It is 
difficult to obtain an accurate assessment of the Traveston proposal 
including infrastructure such as road closing for the total project. The 
most common figure used is $2.6 billion.

·        This submission should be read in conjunction with a submission being 
made by Mr R. McMah. It was he who pointed out the potential of the 
Borumba Dam thus saving the Mary Valley largely intact. My 
concentration was on South East Queensland water supply. By a 
happy coincidence both proposal eliminate the Traveston Dam.


·       I have no commercial or other interest in the outcome of this submission 
other than as a citizen of SEQ.

To gain an understanding of the proposal, it is necessary to understand the 
action and consequences of “uncommon events”. We will retain the term used 
by the Dam Managers



                                                                                                           Page 11




                                                                                                                         Page 12  
Uncommon events

We have seen above that uncommon events have been identified by SEQWater as 
Monsoons, Cyclones and large rain Depressions that generally cover South East 
Queensland. They have the capacity to fill the Dams to overflow in a few days.

The official SEQWater “Historical Wivenhoe Storage Capacity” graph follows on the 
next page. It covers the period January 1990 to June 2006. I have added the 
known “uncommon events” that occurred in that period. I have estimated the position 
for the period 1986 to 1989 when the Dams filled to overflow.

The graph further illustrates that the population requirements were constant throughout 
the Dam life. With three refills through uncommon events, the angle of the draw down 
after these events was constant

It also illustrates that it was supplied by five uncommon events to 1999 and a topup 
in February 2001.

Using SEQWater requirements to identify an event and confirming the result with BOM 
flood data, 18 were identified in the Twentieth Century. This chart also follows on the 
next  page but one.

We had obviously come to rely on and accept “uncommon events” as a permanent 
part of our water supply when their recorded history and name suggests otherwise.

It is the surplus water that flowed over the Wivenhoe Dam wall four times in its 
21 year life that I am interested in and will be examining later
.  Add to that all 
previous events

The Somerset sits atop the Wivenhoe and releases its water collected into the 

                                                                                                        Page 13


                                                                                                       Page 14



                                                                                                                         Page 16          

Concatenation (linking together of uncommon events)

Most people with the responsibility of our water supply appear to believe that there is a 
drought in the catchments. It has been demonstrated that there are two types of rainfall 
that fill our Dams, normal summer rainfall and “uncommon events”.

Summer rainfall has been quite normal in the last six years. Any deficiency has 
been experienced in the non-summer months that do not usually provide inflow into 
the Dams.

The most important aspect is that since 2001 “uncommon events” are having time 
off, as their history shows, and are living up to their name “uncommon”.

As the “drought” breaks, one envisages that normal flows begin and that is that.

In this case the normal summer rains that produce a daily average of 500ML  and the 
water grid which will contribute an average of  500ML per day will provide for our needs 
without water restrictions. It seems to concur with the EIS report when other dams in 
SEQ are added. Our current requirements are 700ML per day with restrictions.

This joint contribution of 1,000ML per day converts to 365,000ML annually. This 
Copy of Yield Wiv and Som SEQRWSSS Stage 2 interim.jpg (187097 bytes) compares with the attached yield/water allocation of the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset dams in the stage 2 interim report of 
SEQRWSS of 374,000ML.

Consequently the inflow into the dams is the same as the withdrawals on 
a “business as usual basis”.

So where does the rain from “uncommon events” end up? We have seen from 
the graph that two such events filled the brand new Wivenhoe dam to overflow  
in 1988 and 1989.

With the Dam now full in 1989, the historical graph of the Wivenhoe Dam levels 
Dam levels official revised Wivenhoe.jpg (151526 bytes) shows that the recoveries required to full capacity 
were 27% in 1992, 55% in 1996, 30% in 1999 and 10% in 2001. 
That represents a total percentage of 122% of the dam’s capacity.

We have seen that the Summer rain and the Grid supply our ” business as usual” 
needs so there is no need to withdraw water from the Dams. The Traveston proposal 
is supposed to be for population growth.

This water amounting to 122% of the Wivenhoe full capacity will now go over the 
dam spillway because there is no space available. This calculates to 1,421,300ML 
or, in the 12 year span, 113,096ML annually with a 9,000ML a year reduction for 
evaporation etc.

This water, of course, is lost if the Traveston is built. The Borumba Dam will be 
closed off and incorporated with the Traveston in stage 2 for a very small 30,000ML 
a year. This forms part of the Traveston eventual supply of 150,000ML.

                                                                                              Page 17                                                                                                                             

On the other hand if this proposal is adopted, this water can also be pumped into the 
Borumba Dam from the Wivenhoe. It could fill 71% of the expanded Borumba dam 
of 2,000,000ML in a 12 year period.

The main purpose of the Grid System was to insulate our requirements from  
Copy of Yield Wiv and Som SEQRWSSS Stage 2 interim.jpg (187097 bytes)Yields_Annual_SEQWater_web.jpg (114473 bytes) unpredictable
uncommon events. The heart of the 
problem was the inability of the Wivenhoe/Somerset 
system storage to retain all water from these events. 
With the Borumba dam being used to store surplus water 
from this proposal, they could then be brought into 
calculation. 800ML per day was the product 
of these events from 1974 to 2006 and led to the 
expansion of water allocations from the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

With the Wivenhoe “uncommon events” being brought back into play with the next 
uncommon event and, with the Grid system in full operation, this water becomes 
surplus to our current needs. It is that water that could provide for our growth and 
the Borumba Dam reservoir held in reserve as and when required well into the 
21st Century.

To illustrate the effect over the period 1974 to 2001, the next page outlines the 


                                                                                                         Page 18

                                                                                                 Page  19


The alternative project

 Available surplus water

The following four pages illustrate the volume of water that currently finds its way over 
the spillway of the Wivenhoe Dam. They clearly show a volume of 80,000ML a year on 
an annualised basis.

The volumes do not flow on an annualised basis. The volumes are calculated from 
available data and crosschecked with the known annual volumes. This information 
follows in the next section.

They also have an important bearing on the time to pump such large volumes of water.


Attachment A 14. Location of the Borumba Dam
Moreton resources.jpg (141612 bytes)




Attachments 19, 20 and 21. Link to North Pine Dam in this website.


                                                                                                                            Page 24 



                                                                                                       Page 25                     


                                                                                                                        Page 26

Expected flow volumes

These calculated volumes are cross checked in total with the annualised available 
water. They follow on the next page.

There are known dam levels for the period 1988 to 2001. For other periods, the 
Dam level is the same as reported by DNR & W.

Years 1889, 1890, 1893 and 1974 are major events and have been dealt with 
individually. This is particularly so in years 1889, 1890 and 1893 because of the 
concatenation effect.

The surplus water from the concatenation effect is not included in these calculations. 
This surplus amounts to 113,000ML a year on an annualised basis.

The intention is to show that this project exceeds the expectations of the Traveston 
on a like for like basis. This additional surplus water is a major adverse 
consequence of the Traveston Proposal.

The expected flow volumes are on the next page and this available surplus water 
and its pumping requirements follow in the next section.


                                                                                                                         Page 28

Expected pumping requirements

The important aspects of this section are the Flood holding capacities of the 
Wivehoe/Somerset system and the time required to reduce and relocate the flood holding.

The flow volumes listed in the previous page have been reassembled into yearly order.

The fifty years 1840 to 1890 have also been included. They have been assessed on the 
basis of the BOM graph of flood heights at Brisbane city from 1840 to 2006.

We have seen in this submission that the surplus water that now flows over the 
spillway of the Wivenhoe is 80,000ML on an annualised basis. The contribution of 
the Borumba Dam expanded to 2,000,000ML is 90,000ML per year making a total 
of 170,000ML. This compares with the Traveston target of 150,000ML for all three 
stages. This 80,000ML does not occur in an orderly fashion each year. It is 
best observed in climatic averages set out below:-

Climatic averages

A schedule detailing these climatic averages is on the next page and a summary of 
them follows:-

1.      The fifty years 1840 to 1890 show that for the Wivenhoe, on an annualised 
basis, the total is 189,960ML. An overall excess over the Traveston of 
(189,960 + 90,000 – 150,000). It requires 190 days pumping with 
pumping at 1,000ML per day.

2.      The eighty years 1891 to 1970 show that for the Wivenhoe, on an annualised 
basis, the total is 189,960ML. An overall excess over the Traveston of 5,078ML  
(65,078 + 90,000 – 150,000). It requires 65 days pumping with pumping at 1,000ML 
per day.

3.      The thirty years 1971 to 2001 show that for the Wivenhoe, on an annualised 
basis, the total is 189,960ML. An overall excess over the Traveston of 
(123,930 + 90,000 – 150,000). It requires 124 days pumping with 
pumping at 1,000ML per day.

Return of water from the Borumba Dam and pumping of the “concatenation 
effect” from the Wivehoe/Somerset to the Borumba


                                                                                                    Page 29

The main purpose of the Grid System was to insulate our requirements from  
uncommon events. The heart of the problem was the inability of the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system storage to retain all water from these events. With the 
Borumba dam being used to store surplus water from this proposal, they can now be 
brought into predictable calculation. 800ML per day was the product of these events 
from 1974 to 2006 and led to the expansion of water allocations from the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

With the Wivenhoe “uncommon events” being brought back into play with the next 
uncommon event and, with the Grid system in full operation, this water becomes 
surplus to our current needs. It is that water that could provide for our growth and 
the Borumba Dam reservoir held in reserve for future use well into the 21st Century.

These calculations show that there is little need to re-pump to the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

With the “Uncommon events” coming on stream as a predictable water supply in 
conjunction with the expanded Borumba, there will be a reducing need to pump 
“concatenation effect” from the Wivenhoe/Somerset to the expanded 
Borumba Dam.

It also likely that the Engineers will see a need to link the Borumba to the 
Grid system
to reinforce the North Pine Dam and surrounds.



                                                                                                                             Page 31

Engineering applicable to the pipeline

The engineering assessment of this proposal was lost by a misunderstanding. It was 
incorrectly assumed that it was normal water from the stressed Wivenhoe/Somerset 
system in the Moreton region that was the subject of the proposal rather than 
the surplus water.

Mr McMah refused to sign off on the terms of reference because the yield of the 
Borumba dam was stated as 51,000ML for a 1,000,000ML dam whereas a dam 
of 2,000,000ML was envisaged and naturally a higher yield.

In these circumstances, the fact that it was surplus water to the stressed Moreton 
region system appears to have escaped their attention.

The Engineers’ and Hydrologists’ approach appeared to be “if there is something to it, 
we will look into it further”.

This is confirmed by JWP Engineers report which partly involved the construction of 
the Borumba Dam new wall. Their scope is now listed:-

E7 “This study scope has been a high level desktop investigation”. It goes 
on to list the qualifications.
1.1 Project History “The purpose of this preliminary investigation is to assist 
the decision making process and provide the information necessary to 
determine whether further more detailed investigations are warranted.”
1.1 …..”This study is to be considered as a first step towards a potential 
further investigation should preliminary studies indicate the proposal has merit.”

 On the same basis I have obtained some Engineering assistance to determine:-

  1. Is pumping feasible?
  2. What is required?
  3. What is the approximate cost and
  4. The basic running costs with the accent on electricity.

The final assessment would be up to the Engineers to assess the optimum configuration.

In addition, the JWP Engineering assessment of the Mary River water harvesting 
provided some useful information:-

  1. The type of pipe envisaged is similar
  2. The Hydro plant cost and its associated integration and running costs.
  3. The ability to pump 4000ML per day as compared with the 1000ML a day this 
    proposal selected under more favourable pumping time requirements.



                                                                                                       Page 32

The engineering assessment of the pipeline from Wivenhoe to Borumba follows in the 
next 4 pages at the end of this segment.

Of particular interest are the following:-

  1. The pipeline selected is option 1. A 5 barrel 1.00 Metre internal Diameter Cement 
    Lined Welded Steel Pipeline Operating Average Velocity 3 Metres per second.
  2. Length of pipeline is 60 Kilometres.
  3. Increase in elevation between Water Source and Outlet 125 metres.
  4. Pumping costs per Kilolitre is $0.515.
  5. Operating pressures and pipeline thickness indicators are present.


                                                                                                                            Page 37

Dam and pipeline construction costs

The scope of the following information is again listed and should be considered in these 
cost estimates.

This is confirmed by JWP Engineers report which partly involved the construction of 
the Borumba Dam new wall. Their scope is now listed:-

E7 “This study scope has been a high level desktop investigation”. It goes on 
to list the qualifications.
1.1 Project History “The purpose of this preliminary investigation is to assist the 
decision making process and provide the information necessary to determine 
whether further more detailed investigations are warranted.”
1.1 …..”This study is to be considered as a first step towards a potential 
further investigation should preliminary studies indicate the proposal has merit.”

Dam Construction

In the following page I have set out the detail attached to Desktop reviews 
conducted by Engineers GHD and JWP. GHD has broken down their costing. 
JWP has provided a total estimate for a 3 stage construction with an estimated 
figure for each stage. There are no costing details present other than the 
method used.

The JWP estimates require review to a one stage construction. The staged construction 
appears to relate to the proposed 3 stage development of the Traveston dam proposal.

The cost estimates presented by GHD for full supply level EL170.49 is $203,749,359  
and for full supply level EL 192.14 is $324,132,737.

The cost estimate for option one presented by JWP for full supply level EL 212 is  
$1,392,500,000 for all three stages

The cost estimate for option two (Traveston crossing dam risk profile) presented 
by JWP for full supply level EL 212 is $1,268,200,000 for all three stages.

The Hydro power station is not included. Its worth has to be assessed. Land acquisition 
relates to the Mary Valley project and has been excluded from Dam costs calculations.

                                                                                                   Page 39

Land acquisitions calculated by GHD ( total $74.3 million for the land to FSL 
of 192.1. It was costed at $10,000 per hectare plus a 50% upward allowance. This land 
is mainly, if not all, owned by the State Government and resumed for a Hydro plant. Land 
acquisition for the Dam has therefore not been brought to account.

In view of the above, a reasonable assessment for the Dam to built, without the 
interruption of stages, is $1.1 Billion


Pipeline Construction and cost.

It is acknowledged that pipelines are very complex things. An Engineer has assisted 
me in the calculation of the capital cost. The caveat expressed by the Engineers on 
the Dam construction also applies.

The cost estimates includes provision of Electricity to pumping stations and 
intermediate pumping stations if required. Access roads all along the pipeline are 
required plus land resumptions and easements. Header tanks, Surge tanks, Air valves, 
Scour valves, Isolation valves and possibly a Corrosion protection system are 
required to mention a few items. The pipes and pumps are major items.

The pipe suppliers have estimated the cost of option one plus fittings to 
be $225 million. Delivery as from mid 2008 and would take one year of production. 
Option one is the 5 barrel 1.00 Metre internal Diameter Cement Lined Welded Steel 
Pipeline Operating Average Velocity 3 Metres per second.

The cost of laying the pipeline would depend on the speed required. As the Dams 
are around 20% of capacity, there is capacity for at least one “uncommon event”. 
This means that, on past performance, there should be approximately 5 to 6 years 
before the pipeline is required. The optimum cost should be available.

Taking all the above into account, the Engineering assessment with the above 
caveat is $500 million.

Electricity costs are also calculated and will be examined in its section on pipeline 
running costs.

                                                                                                                        Page 40

Hydro Plant

JWP Engineers have estimated the capital cost of the Hydro Plant to be $73 million.

The output of the plant is expected to be 2.9 megawatts. This compares with the 
output from Wivenhoe at 4.5 megawatts and Somerset at 4.0 megawatts.

However, if the proposal is accepted, the distribution of the water from the Borumba 
Dam expanded to 2,000,000ML may alter and increase the flow. The added pressure 
from this now major Dam may also alter the above equation.

Running costs of the pipeline

Wivenhoe/Somerset to Borumba


Electricity costs are the main item.

The Engineering assessment also included the unit cost per kilolitre for option 
one as $0.515. The calculations are there for interested parties.

The estimated cost to pump 80,000ML from the Wivenhoe/Somerset system to the 
Borumba Dam, being the annualised available water, is $41 million. There will be 
other running costs and a total of $55 million is estimated.

The Hydro plant contribution, if any, is yet to be determined.

This compares with interest on the expected saving of capital borrowings totalling 
approximately $1 Billion by not proceeding with the Traveston proposal but 
proceeding instead with this alternative Borumba expansion. The interest saving 
should approximate   $ 70 million per year.

Return of the stored water to the Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

This pumping requirement will be minimal if required.

The main purpose of the Grid System was to insulate our requirements from  
uncommon events. The heart of the problem was the inability of the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system storage to retain all water from these events. With the 
Borumba dam being used to store surplus water from this proposal, they can now 
be brought into predictable calculation. 800ML per day was the product of these 
events from 1974 to 2006 and led to the expansion of water allocations from the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

                                                                                                      Page 41

With the Wivenhoe “uncommon events” being brought back into play with the next 
uncommon event and, with the Grid system in full operation, this water becomes surplus 
to our current needs. It is that water that could provide for our growth and the Borumba 
Dam reservoir held in reserve for future use well into the 21st Century.

These calculations show that there is little need to re-pump to the 
Wivenhoe/Somerset system.

As well, with the “Uncommon events” coming on stream as a predictable water supply 
in conjunction with the expanded Borumba, there will be a reducing need to pump 
“concatenation effect” from the Wivenhoe/Somerset to the expanded 
Borumba Dam.

                                                                                                     Page 42


In my view, the action of “uncommon events” has not been understood.

We saw the actions of the 1988 and 1989 events influence the decision to cancel the 
Wolfdene Dam. A Dam in which all the land had been purchased with the exception of 
a few blocks on the thirty year mark.

The refill of the Dams occurred with a further four events to 2001. This lulled us into 
a false sense of a secure water supply. The water was and still is there but the storage 
is insufficient to be reliable.

This proposal is designed to make them reliable through additional storage and bring 
them back on stream. At 800ML per day for the 30 year period 1974 to 2006, it 
provides double the 410ML provided by the completed Traveston proposal..

With the temporary departure of “uncommon events” in 2001, we now find that the 
Traveston Crossing Dam proposal is included in the “emergency” legislation. In my 
view it was born in a crisis and the solution proposed without the cause being 
sufficiently analysed and/or understood.

The Traveston Dam will consign the excellent catchment of the Mary Valley to a 
fate of less than one half of its sister catchment, the Somerset .

It will permanently reduce the only available large and deep water storage in South 
East Queensland, the Borumba Dam, to a minimal supply as against the major part it 
could play in the decades to come.

It will destroy most of the Mary Valley.

It will interfere with the dynamics of the Economic Engine of South East Queensland, 
our businesses, by placing permanent water restrictions on them. This stranglehold 
of bureaucratic control has apparently been accepted without any public comment 
or associated research on the part of Business. While waste should be eliminated, 
this control is temporary under our proposal.

 It will be significantly more expensive project than the Borumba expansion, and it 
will deliver significantly less reserves for present contingencies, and with its 
limitations it offers little capacity to address growth well into this century and beyond.

In my view and with 20/20 hindsight, it is a decision in the category of the cancellation 
of the Wolfdene Dam.


ATTACHMENTS A 1 to A 28 Are part of this submission.

 Return to front page CLICK

                                                                                                                                Page 43


The Coordinator General


Project Manager
SEQInfrastructure (Water) – Traveston Crossing Dam
Department of Infrastructure and Planning
PO Box 15009 City East Qld 4002

The 43 pages in this document, attachments A1 to A29 and the website information 
form the basis of this submission.
 ( now included directly in this website)




J. V. Hodgkinson F.C.A.

Name: John Vincent Hodgkinson
Address: 17 Castlemaine Street Coorparoo Brisbane 4151


Please refer to    
 )  (now revised)