Southern Water Supply Storage

Project: Provision of a second water storage facility for Eurobodalla in the southern part of the shire

Start: 2016

Cost: $105 Million

Funding: Federal Government $51.2 million, NSW Government $25.6 million, Council will fund the remainder

Current activity: Pump station construction

Last updated: June 2021


Eurobodalla Shire Council has obtained project approval for the Eurobodalla Southern Water Supply Storage under Part 4, Division 4.7 (State Significant Development) (formerly Division 4.1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

To support the State Significant Development application to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Southern Water Supply Storage (the proposal) was prepared and released for a public exhibition period.

Planned works

The proposed works will be located about 30km south of Moruya, on an unnamed third order ephemeral stream about 950m east of the Tuross River, within the Tuross River catchment. The majority of the works will be in Bodalla State Forest. Road access will be via the Princes Highway to Bodalla and then Eurobodalla Road. The works consist of an off-stream water storage facility and associated ancillary facilities. Raw water will be extracted from the Tuross River from a new river intake pump station and an existing borefield for transfer to the new water storage facility.

Water will be pumped from the Tuross River to the proposed water storage facility in accordance with the Water Sharing Plan for the Tuross River Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2016 (Tuross River WSP). The Tuross River WSP sets a maximum amount of water that can be taken from the Tuross River depending on current flow conditions. Water will be stored in the proposed water storage facility to supplement the existing water supply network during periods of drought.

The water storage facility will also supplement peak summer demands and provide sufficient water storage to allow the system to provide a secure yield in accordance with State Government guidelines, and comply with the requirements of the Tuross River WSP. This storage facility will ensure ongoing water supply security for the Eurobodalla Shire. As water will be selectively withdrawn from the Tuross River depending on flow conditions, environmental stress on the Tuross River system will be minimised.

Background to the project

In 2016, we reviewed the Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy, taking into account revised forecasts in water demand and the Tuross River WSP. This review confirmed the need for the construction of the water storage facility.

Environmental Impact Statement

The EIS provides information on the proposal, including its environmental impacts and mitigation measures. A number of environmental specialist assessments were undertaken during preparation of the EIS to assess the potential impacts of the proposal on the environment and to identify safeguards and management measures to mitigate these impacts.

The outcomes of these assessments are summarised in the EIS. These specialist assessments included:

  • Water resources, hydrology and potential changes to water flow
  • Biodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic ecology)
  • Socio-economic impacts, including land use and property
  • Aboriginal heritage
  • Non-Aboriginal heritage
  • Traffic and transport
  • Noise and vibration
  • Bushfire planning and management
  • Greenhouse gases and climate change
  • Air quality
  • Landscape and visual impacts.

A number of potential environmental impacts from the proposal have been avoided or reduced during the concept design development and options assessment.

This EIS finds the adverse impacts of the proposal would be outweighed by the longer-term environmental benefits. On balance, the proposal is considered justified and the EIS makes the following conclusions:

  • the proposal would not have a significant impact on threatened species, populations or ecological communities or their habitats
  • the proposal would not have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance or on the environment of Commonwealth land.

Features of the proposal

Key features of the off-stream storage facility include:

  • capacity to hold up to 3,000ML of water
  • a 370m long embankment, 39m in height and a crest width of 20m, located on an unnamed tributary of the Tuross River
  • a spillway to allow the storage facility to safely pass excess water from heavy rainfall events into the Tuross River
  • permanent erosion control structures located downstream of the spillway
  • construction of an inlet to convey and dissipate raw water transferred from the river intake pump station through a pipeline
  • construction of an outlet to allow transfer of water from the storage to the existing water treatment plant (WTP)
  • instrumentation to monitor seepage, reservoir levels and water quality
  • a thermal stratification control system
  • a boat ramp at the water storage facility for maintenance and access for water quality monitoring
  • safety and perimeter fencing at the water storage facility.

Key features of the ancillary facilities include:

  • a new river intake pump station with a total river extraction capacity made up of a combination of flows from the river intake (up to 26ML) and the borefield (up to 6ML)
  • installation of the following water transfer infrastructure:
    • a pipeline with a capacity of 26ML per day to transfer raw water from the new river intake pump station to the storage inlet chute
    • a cross-connection to the proposed water storage inlet pipeline with a capacity of 6ML per day providing connection to supply water from the storage to the balance tank at the existing WTP
    • a pipeline connection from the existing borefield pipeline to the river intake pump station
    • a new storage access road that is about 1km in length and extends from Eurobodalla Road opposite the existing WTP to the new embankment
    • a new access road that is 70m in length and would provide a route for vehicles to access the new river intake pump station.
    • power supply including the construction of new sub-stations located near the storage and the river intake pump station.

Click to view a larger image of the proposal overview

Key features of the proposal are shown in the image below.

Click to view a larger image of the proposal overview key features

Latest news

May 2021

  • Dam good announcement! The Federal Government has come to the party with $51.2 million toward the new southern water storage facility.
  • We now have the funding to make this project happen.
  • The completed project will give water security to Eurobodalla residents and businesses for decades to come.
  • Read about the funding announcement in our May 2021 media release.

February 2021

  • Construction of the Tuross River Pump Station is underway and is expected to take about one year to complete.
  • Over the coming months we will provide further information on the timing of the water supply storage.

October 2020

  • The Tuross River Pump Station construction contract has been awarded to Quay Civil.
  • The Contractor is now in the first stages of the project which includes a detailed review of the design and development and approvals of construction management plans. Construction of the pump station will begin once everything is in order.

June 2020

  • Now that we have some of the funds for this project we are moving ahead with the Tuross River Pump Station.
  • We've cleared the site and advertised the tender for construction of the pump station.
  • We anticipate awarding the tender award in July, with the aim to start building in September.

October 2019

  • Great news! The NSW Government has announced $25.6 million towards the design and construction of the project. This means we can acquire the land and get things happening.
  • We’ll get started on the pump station designed to transfer water from the river to the new water storage. We’ll advertise for tenders soon and expect construction to occur in 2020.
  • The total project cost is estimated to be $105 million. We are still hopeful of receiving 50 per cent of the funds from the Federal Government and Council will contribute the rest.
  • The federal funding will allow us to build the water storage.

September 2019

  • We have received draft project approval from NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
  • We are keen to secure funding so we can get this project up and running. Hopefully we will soon receive some good news from the NSW and federal governments regarding our funding applications.

July 2019

  • The water storage facility design is complete and a design report has been reviewed by a qualified dam engineer.
  • These documents will soon be provided to the NSW Dams Safety Committee.
  • Once we receive approval for the project we will seek approval from the NSW Department of Industry - Water to build the dam.
  • We are liaising with a local property owner and the Forestry Commission regarding land purchases for the dam, river pumping station and access roads.
  • We have applied to the NSW Government for funding under the Safe and Secure Water Program. Additionally, the NSW Government has applied to the Federal Government for assistance under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

March 2019

  • A response to submissions report has been issued to the approval authority, the Department of Planning and Environment.
  • Council anticipates a project approval during March 2019.
  • Council will soon submit detailed applications for funding under the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program, and the Federal Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

November 2018

  • Flows in the Deua and Tuross Rivers have increased slightly with recent rain but they remain well below normal. The community is relying solely on the water storage at Deep Creek Dam, which has fallen below 80 per cent capacity.
  • Level 1 water restrictions are in force the Eurobodalla Shire to help conserve the water supply.
  • Level 2 water restrictions will apply from 1 December to ensure everyone uses water more wisely during the highest water use period.
  • The dry conditions highlight the need for the Southern Water Supply Storage.

October 2018

  • The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) public exhibition period closed on 18 October 2018 after 42 days.
  • NSW Planning and Environment will now review the submissions received.
  • Submissions will be handled in accordance with the DP&E Privacy policy.
  • Detailed design work is proceeding on the proposed Southern Water Supply Storage.

September 2018

  • The Environmental Impact Statement is complete and on Public Exhibition from 7 September until 18 October 2018.
  • The community is encouraged to review the EIS and make written submissions.
  • Council will continue to engage with the community and the project team will hold a community information session at Eurobodalla Shire Council Chambers, Vulcan Street, Moruya, on Thursday 20 September, 4pm to 8pm.
  • Hard copies of the EIS will be on display at Council's main administration building as well as the three libraries.

May 2018

  • The public exhibition for community feedback closed on Wednesday 16 May 2018. We will consider the feedback received to further refine options if required.
  • Although the public exhibition is now closed, you can view the concept design here:

April 2018

  • To give more time to view the concept designs, Council has extended the public exhibition for community feedback until Wednesday 16 May 2018.

March 2018

August 2017

  • Field investigations for the Environmental Impact Statement have been completed, including flora and fauna studies and a review of heritage issues including items of Indigenous cultural significance. The Environmental Impact Statement is currently underway and a draft version of the report is expected to be completed in November 2017.
  • Geotechnical investigations started in August 2017 to inform the design of the storage and are expected to be completed in November 2017.

December 2016

  • In September 2016 Council appointed SMEC to carry out the Concept Design, Environmental Impact Statement and Detailed Design stages for the Eurobodalla Southern Water Supply Storage project.
  • Environmental Impact Statement field investigations have started.

More information

For further details about the project, please contact our Water & Sewer Project Engineer, Harvey Lane: