- off-river storages
- retarding basins
- tailings dams.
Dams are built for various reasons, including:
- water supply
- flood control (eg retarding basins)
- environmental controls (eg tailings storage facilities that impound their contents).
NSW is home to tens of thousands of dams, from small farm dams to major dams like Sydney’s Warragamba Dam.
Risks to dam safety
- a dam with a wall that is more than 15 metres high
- an existing or proposed dam that Dams Safety NSW is reasonably satisfied would endanger the life of a person, or result in a major or catastrophic level of severity of damage or loss if it failed
- dams that were ‘prescribed’ under the old Dams Safety Act (1978) became declared dams under the new Act.
Should your dam be declared?
If people would be at risk if your dam failed, it needs to be referred to Dams Safety NSW to be considered for declaration, even if it is only a small dam or retarding basin.
It should also be referred if dam failure would cause a major or catastrophic level of environmental or economic asset damage or loss. The Declared dams consequence category assessment and determination methodology describes what a major or catastrophic damage or loss refers to in Tables 3A, 3B and 3C.
All dams that are more than 15 metres high must also be referred to Dams Safety NSW to be considered for declaration.
If you think these factors may apply to your dam, contact us to discuss the next steps. Our engineers will assess whether your dam meets the criteria to be declared. They may need you to carry out a preliminary assessment of the dam.
Revoking a dam declaration
If you believe your dam no longer meets the requirements to be declared and you want Dams Safety NSW to consider revoking the declaration of your dam, contact us.