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Dam safety management

During the 2016 flood event, it was clear that the design and maintenance of South Australia’s irrigation, domestic and similar dams were often inadequate. Spillways are often non-existent or inadequate for containing flood waters and many dam walls have structural issues. A significant number of dams failed or threatened to fail during this event.

The South Australian Government reviewed how dam safety management could be improved in South Australia. See the 2020 position paper in response to the Burns Review:

Note that SA Water reservoirs, tailings dams and some wastewater storage and evaporation lagoons were not in-scope for the review.

Key actions of the position paper include an annual dam safety awareness campaign for dam owners and as needed for SES volunteers, developing a dam failure risk rating method, developing a pilot register for one or more catchments in the Mt Lofty Ranges. Funding will need to be secured for some of the actions.