Upper canal upgrade

Upper canal upgrade

About the project

  • Located at specific sections along the Upper Canal.
  • $60m project started in March 2018
  • Project involves upgrades to sections of the canal walls and to parts of the fencing running along the length of the canal.
  • WaterNSW is undertaking work along the Upper Canal to ensure it continues to meet contemporary safety standards, deliver water efficiently to its customers and improve access conditions.
  • This work is essential to protect the canal’s significant heritage value, and ensure its structural integrity and continued operation as part of supplying high quality water to Greater Sydney.
  • Comdain Infrastructure and Zinfra won the tenders to undertake the work packages, on behalf of WaterNSW


The Upper Canal system transports raw water and has the capacity to transfer up to 30% of Sydney’s water supply. Built in the 1880s and now listed on the State Heritage Register, the Upper Canal is the only way of transferring water to Sydney from the four Upper Nepean Dams (Cataract, Nepean, Avon and Cordeaux). Over 125 years old the Canal remains an essential piece of the Greater Sydney water quality and supply infrastructure and these works will ensure it can continue operating into the future.


  • Improve reliability and operation of the Upper Canal
  • Efficient water delivery to customers
  • Protect Greater Sydney water quality and supply
  • Increase public safety and reduce illegal entry into the canal
  • Economic benefits from sourcing supplies and subcontractors locally

Operations during the upgrades

Routine canal shut-downs and changes to water delivery operational requirement may occur during the upgrade period. Most of the work is being done on WaterNSW lands. Where work does impact on stakeholders and the community WaterNSW is committed to informing them about the work and ensuring minimal disruptions. We are currently communicating with customers, residents, communities and stakeholders who may be impacted by the fencing works.

Project schedule

  • 2017 - Planning and design work finalised
  • 2018 - In-Canal repairs and upgrades started in March with work staged during the routine shut-down period
  • 2019 - In-canal repairs and upgrades resume in March and are scheduled to finish this year
  • 2019 - Fencing upgrades started in January and continue until early 2020

Contact details

Project Manager: Kumar Tharmakumar
Phone: 1300 662 077


Wednesday 27 January
2,392,415 ML
2,581,850 ML
11,945 ML
1,707 ML
-12,079 ML
Wednesday 27 January