Enlarged Cotter Dam flows to secure Canberra's water supply

Released 12/10/2013

Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, today officially opened the new Enlarged Cotter Dam (ECD) which will provide water security for Canberra for several decades to come.

"Canberra is a growing city and the investment in this major piece of infrastructure will ensure that the community has a secure and ongoing water source for years to come whilst also reducing the potential impacts experienced from dry periods and drought," the Chief Minister said.

"The new dam increases the capacity of the old Cotter Dam from 4 gigalitres to 78 gigalitres which will increase the total water storage capacity for the ACT with its four main dams to a total 281 gigalitres.

"The ECD is the single largest component in the suite of water security projects and is a vital piece of the territory's water security network which also includes the Murrumbidgee to Googong Pipeline, the Tantangara transfer project as well as the Lower Molonglo Augmentation project."

"Canberra has recently been through the longest single drought period of nine years where stage three water restrictions had to be implemented and the dams were at their lowest levels at below 40 per cent."

The Chief Minister said the ECD project not only had benefits for the ongoing water security of the ACT.

"A project of this scale has had significant economic benefits for the ACT economy through an active construction sector and the creation of hundreds of jobs," the Chief Minister said.

"I would like to thank the Bulk Water Alliance for their professionalism in undertaking this massive project and thank the Board of ACTEW and Mark Sullivan and his staff for their dedication, oversight and management of this very complex project."

The dam is currently at just over 30% capacity, is operational, is filling and is connected to the city water supply.

"I am also pleased to see the environmental benefits this project will provide with measures to protect endangered fish species such as the Macquarie Perch in place in the Cotter River," the Chief Minister said.

"This is an historic day for the ACT and this major infrastructure project is evidence that Canberra is a 21st century city where investments made now will pay off for the future benefit of the city"

- Statement ends -

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