(Remember, it’s always best to write in your own words, if you have time, read the Don't raise the Dam fact sheets and then once you are happy with your letter paste it to the Premier's letter submission webform)
The Hon Mike Baird MP
Premier of NSW
Sydney NSW 2000
Dear Premier Baird,
Don’t Raise the Warragamba Dam Wall
The raising of the Warragamba dam wall proposed by Infrastructure NSW will cause environmentally unacceptable damages above and below the dam at a cost that is likely to exceed $750 million.
The proposed dam wall raising will smother with sediment the lower Kowmung River and other wild rivers in the Blue Mountains. The largest remaining stand of the endangered Camden white gum will be affected by the flooding.
Even with the proposed dam wall raising the other half of Hawkesbury-Nepean’s catchment south of Sydney can still produce major floods. People residing on the floodplain would still suffer big floods from the Grose, Colo and Macdonald Rivers and the South Metropolitan Catchments, for example over 100 residential properties would be flooded in a 1 in 5 year flood.
The dam raising proposal will simply encourage urban sprawl over currently flood prone areas, putting more people at risk of the floods arising from the other half of the catchment. The dam wall raising proposal is a half measure and certain to produce no net gain in public safely. Further, urban development on previously flood prone land will cause the death of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River from addition urban runoff and sewage discharges. Oyster farmers will also be badly hit by extended fresh water floods from mitigation discharges killing off oyster farms and causing economic ruin.
The better solution is to use the capacity of the existing dam for flood mitigation and rely on the auxiliary spillway on the eastern side of the dam wall to carry extreme floods past the dam with safety. The proposed alternative design incorporates new gates to regulate small and medium flood flows and could take advantage of the five metres added to the existing dam wall in 1989.
Using the existing dam more effectively is a solution that can integrate a range of flood management measures in response to flood risk. This proposal will provide many of the benefits of the proposed dam wall raising for a faction of the cost.