Chaffey Dam upgrade and augmentation

Chaffey Dam upgrade and augmentation

Chaffey Dam

  • Chaffey concrete pourLocated on the Peel River, 43km upstream of Tamworth.
  • Dam completed in 1979.
  • Storage capacity of 62,830 megalitres (will be 100,000 megalitres following augmentation).

About the project

  • Stage one - $13 million funded by the NSW Government - construction of a 35 metre auxiliary spillway with release plug - completed 2011.
  • Stage two and augmentation - $50 million funded by the Australian Government, NSW Government and Tamworth Regional Council.

Description of works

  • Upgrade the dam to comply with ANCOLD and DSC safety standards and increase the dam’s capacity from 62GL to 100GL.
  • The works will involve raising the dam wall by 8 metres. These works will increase the full supply level of the dam by 6.5 metres.
  • Augmentation will help secure long term water supplies for the growing city of Tamworth and improve the security of water entitlements for downstream users.
  • Normal dam operations will continue throughout the project.
  • Additional water releases have not been required during construction. The storage was to be kept at around 83% of capacity during work on the morning glory spillway however a lack of inflows meant the storage has not risen above 60% during the works.

Project details

  • Works at dam wall
  • Works to Tamworth-Nundle Road and River Road
  • The increased full supply level of the dam will mean some roads, bridges and recreation facilities will need to be relocated or realigned.
  • Results from the environmental impact assessment will be incorporated into construction including measures to mitigate impacts from the increased water level from augmentation.


  • Improved ability of dam to withstand extreme floods.
  • Securing the long term water supply for Tamworth.
  • Improve the security of water entitlements for downstream users.
  • Stimulating local economy during the construction phase.


Stage one works

  • 2009 late - Review of environmental factors.
  • 2009 late - Detail design completed.
  • 2010 early - Construction commenced.
  • 2011 February - Construction completed.

Stage two and augmentation works

  • 2011 mid-year - Commence detailed design for stage two and augmentation.
  • 2014 mid to late - Commence construction on stage two and augmentation.
  • 2016 - Expected completion of entire upgrade


  • 2014 December - New boat ramp installed in the recreation park.
  • 2014 October - First community construction liaison group meeting held.
  • 2014 October - Construction commenced.
  • 2014 May - Contract awarded for construction on stage two and augmentation
  • 2014 April - Environmental approvals granted.
  • 2012 April - Contract awarded for environmental impact assessment.
  • 2011 December - Contract for stage two and augmentation detailed design awarded.
  • 2011 February - Stage one construction completed.
  • 2011 February - Stage two and augmentation funding announced.
  • 2010 June - Construction on stage one works commenced.
  • Detailed geotechnical investigation of the proposed works completed.
  • Environmental assessment of trial options for the upgrade and augmentation completed.

Fact sheet

Project bulletins

Media releases

Photos and videos

Environmental approval process

  • An environmental impact assessment was prepared by consultants Worley Parsons to seek environmental approval for the project.
  • The Executive Director of the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure made a determination approving the project 27 February 2014. Documentation in relation to the assessment and approval can be sourced from Chaffey Dam safety upgrade and augmentation page on the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure website.
  • Final approval was received on Monday, 7 April 2014 from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment. Documentation in relation to the approval can be sourced from the Chaffey project page on the Australian Government Department of Environment's website.

Environmental approval documents

Community consultation

  • WaterNSW has been working with the local community and stakeholders for more than 10 years on the project.
  • A community consultation process was carried out during the environmental assessment process to ensure any community concerns were considered.
  • A community consultation liaison group consisting of key local stakeholders will be formed to operate during construction to provide a mechanism for updates and issue resolution.
  • The general community will be kept up-to-date as construction progresses through the local media and this website.

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Enquiries and complaints

Enquiries and complaints should be directed through the WaterNSW complaints management process via the following channels:

  • Phone: 1300 662 077
  • Post: Customer Helpdesk, WaterNSW, PO Box 1018, Dubbo, NSW 2830

Send us your inquiry

Sunday 01 May
2,262,024 ML
2,581,749 ML
7,156 ML
1,023 ML
1,467 ML
Sunday 01 May