Don't raise Warragamba dam

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness will be launching its Wild Rivers Campaign in the Blue Mountains later this month. Dr Bob Brown and Bob Debus AM have thrown their support behind the conservation group’s push to save 65 kilometres of World Heritage Listed wild rivers from the proposed raising of Warragamba Dam wall.

Volunteer involvement forms the heart of all community campaigns. The Wild Rivers Campaign, a Colong Foundation campaign formed to protect 65 kilometres of world heritage rivers in the Blue Mountains, is looking for volunteers to baulster its campaign to save 65 kilometres of world heritage rivers from a dam.

Protecting Australia’s wild rivers was a seminal time in the nation’s environmental consciousness. The Franklin River campaign of the 1980s saw the nation come together to save Tasmania’s unique wild rivers and wilderness areas. Unfortunately, some of Australia’s most pristine wild rivers are again under threat.


The Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is under threat if the state government’s plans to raise the Warragamba Dam wall proceed, environmentalists warn.

"Raising the dam will destroy unique environments within the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, including the pristine Kowmung River wilderness,” said Harry Burkitt from the Colong Foundation.

The Kowmung River

The Kowmung River

Coming on the heels of plans to rip up native vegetation laws in the city and the bush, conservationists are reeling from today’s announcement to raise of the Warragamba dam wall as it would damage the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

The Sydney Morning Herald this morning has reported that a proposal to raise Warragamba Dam by 14m for flood mitigation purposes is the Baird government's preferred approach to managing flood risks in the Hawkesbury Nepean. 

Warragamba Dam wall to be raised to avoid catastrophic flood event.


The release of the government review in how to manage flooding in Western Sydney is due in April, after the NSW state election. 

We fear that this review will recommend the raising of the dam at a time when political sensitivity to the electorate is low.

Raising the wall of Warragamba Dam by 23 metres to reduce downstream flooding -- as recommended in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review -- would lead to the destruction of some of the most heavily-protected wilderness areas in Australia, yet still fail to eliminate the flood risks for western Sydney communities. 

Almost $60 million has been spent on Warragamba dam during the last five years, including upgrading flood gates - SMH Feb 1 2014.

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