Sunday, 24 July 2022

Coming to grips with the reality of Clarrie Hall Dam in 2022 - Tweed Shire Council seeking community feedback on its draft water release strategy


Tweed Shire Council, media release, 21 July 2022:

Feedback invited on draft Clarrie Hall Dam Water Release Policy

Learn more about how water is released from Clarrie Hall Dam

Clarrie Hall Dam is the Tweed's main water storage facility. Council is seeking community feedback on its draft Water Release Policy, with an information session to be held in Murwillumbah on 10 August.

Tweed Shire Council has drafted a new policy to clarify and formalise Council’s operational practices in relation to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.

The Tweed’s main water supply is the Tweed River. Opened in 1983, Clarrie Hall Dam is located on Doon Doon Creek approximately 15 km south-west of Murwillumbah. The dam has a catchment area of 60 km² and holds up to 16,000 megalitres of water. Releases from the dam help keep the Tweed River flowing when water levels are low.

Clarrie Hall Dam was designed for the purposes of water storage for water supply only and it has an uncontrolled spillway. As such, Council cannot regulate or change the flow of water through the spillway, change the Full Supply Level (FSL) of the spillway, or maintain a surcharge above the spillway level.

Council’s Manager Water and Waste Water Operations Brie Jowett said the draft policy aims to explain Council’s operational practices when it comes to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.

Due to its design and purpose, Clarrie Hall Dam cannot be operated to release water ahead of rainfall events to provide any form of storage capacity for flood mitigation purposes,” Mrs Jowett said.

We know there is some misinformation within the community about water releases for flood mitigation and during floods at Clarrie Hall Dam and we want to clear that up.

We’ve put the draft policy on exhibition as we want to hear from all Tweed residents – especially those in flood–prone, downstream communities including Uki, Murwillumbah, Condong, Tumbulgum and Chinderah – to make sure they have all the information they need to understand how Council’s water release operations work.

It’s important our community understands that it’s not possible to use the dam for flood mitigation. There is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam’s spillway, nor change the full supply level of the spillway.

We are encouraging everyone to learn more about the dam’s design and how it is operated by reading the policy and let us know how to improve the policy to make it clearer.”

During a flood event, Council continuously monitors the safety of Clarrie Hall Dam and provides information to relevant authorities as per Council’s Dam Safety Emergency Plan.

You can review the draft and share your feedback by completing the online survey or attend the community information session on Wednesday 10 August at Murwillumbah Services Club from 4.30 pm. Registration is essential. For more details and to register visit

Submissions close on 16 August 2022.

The spillway at Clarrie Hall Dam does not allow for flood mitigation as there is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam's spillway.

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