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Dam projects

Mole River Dam

A new rockfill dam at Mole River would deliver improved water security and environmental benefits for NSW and QLD.

Transition to Water Infrastructure NSW

As of 1 July 2021, responsibility for the proposed Mole River Dam project transitioned from WaterNSW to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Water Infrastructure NSW, which is a Division of the Water Group.

For project continuity, key project staff have also moved across and previous WaterNSW project specific contact points (i.e. email and phone numbers) are being forwarded.

What's happening in September?

  • The project team continues to finalise the business case.
  • Preliminary environmental and technical investigation reports are being finalised.

Background

The NSW Government has released a 20-year infrastructure options study for rural river valleys which addresses future challenges in operating regulated river systems. The objective of the study was to guide water infrastructure investment by all levels of government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have announced a jointly funded package of around $1 billion for the planning and delivery of three new or augmented dams in NSW. This includes $24 million for a Final Business Case for building a new dam on Mole River, in the Border Rivers region of NSW.

The Border Rivers is a large catchment that services both NSW and QLD users. Its water supply is serviced by three relatively small catchment dams and large on-farm storages. A new dam will have the potential to secure more water in flood sequences so in drier times more water would be available to communities, agriculture and the environment.

Benefits

Key benefits of the project are likely to be:

  • improvements in on-farm productivity due to more reliable and secure water supply
  • increased reliability for agricultural production which will help secure existing jobs and create new opportunities
  • an improvement to security of town water supply for downstream communities
  • better flood mitigation.

A new dam will have the potential to secure more water in flood sequences so that in drier times more water would be available to communities, agriculture, and the environment.

Location map

Map of Mole River
Map of Mole River Dam

Estimated project timeline

  • 2020 - Community engagement commences
  • Year one - Concept Design & Environmental Assessment
  • End of year two - Project Determination
  • Year three - Detailed Design and Pre-Construction enabling work
  • From year four - Dam construction (Construction is expected to take 2-4 years, dependent on design). Years 2-4 are subject to the final business case and Government funding decision in 2021.
Important information

Note that project timelines can be affected by a range of factors including weather conditions, increased time to carry out consultation and where technical analysis and assessments require further work or investigation. Water Infrastructure NSW places the highest priority on the safety and wellbeing of its staff and the communities we work with. We are closely adhering to the current COVID-19 Public Health Orders which may have an impact on project activities and timelines. This website will be regularly updated to reflect this and communities will be notified of any changes.

Latest project updates

View a full list of project updates.

Planning and delivery

For detailed project planning information please visit the NSW Government Planning portal.

View the Environmental Assessment Requirements (PDF, 212.92 KB).

Frequently Asked Questions

See answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Mole River Dam project.

Social impact assessment

Water Infrastructure NSW is seeking approval from the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Australian Minister for the Environment to construct the Mole River Dam project.

The assessment process requires Water Infrastructure NSW to prepare a Social Impact Assessment to accompany the Strategic Business Case for the project addressing the potential social impacts and benefits of the project to the local area, the region, and the state of NSW.

The SIA survey has now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.

View more information about the Social Impact Assessment (PDF, 138.82 KB).

Contact us

To speak with the project team, phone 1800 560 729 or email moleriverdamproject@dpie.nsw.gov.au

To receive project updates, please email your contact details to moleriverdamproject@dpie.nsw.gov.au with "Subscribe for Updates" in the subject heading.

Facebook logo Facebook users can also join the Water Infrastructure NSW Mole River project community group.

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