Chaffey Dam augmentation

Chaffey DamBackground

Following stage one works, further stage two works will be carried out in conjunction with dam augmentation to enable the dam to store more water.

The $50 million project includes funding of $18.03M from the NSW Government for stage two as well as augmentation funding from the Australian Government National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns ($18.145M), the NSW Government ($9.668M) and Tamworth Regional Council ($3.968M).

About the project

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.
  • Normal dam operations will continue throughout the project.
  • Augmentation will help secure long term water supplies for the growing city of Tamworth and improve the security of water entitlements for downstream users.

Project details

  • Concept design
  • Works at dam wall
  • 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.

Project schedule

  • Complete upgrade and augmentation 2016
  • Commence construction on stage two and augmentation mid 2014 
  • Commence detailed design for stage two and augmentation mid year 2011


  • Construction contract awarded to John Holland May 2014.
  • Final environmental approval granted April 2014.
  • Tenders called for stage two upgrade and augmentation construction November 2012
  • Environmental impact assessment submitted to NSW Department of Planning November 2012
  • Contract awarded for environmental impact assessment April 2012
  • Contract for stage two and augmentation detailed design awarded December 2011
  • Stage one construction completed February 2011
  • Stage two and augmentation funding announced February 2011
  • Construction on stage one works commenced June 2010 
  • Detailed geotechnical investigation of the proposed works completed.
  • Environmental assessment of trial options for the upgrade and augmentation completed.

Environmental approval

  • 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

  • State Water 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.

Complaints and enquiries

Complaints and enquiries about the project should be directed through State Water's complaints management process via the following channels:

Fact sheet

Media releases