Dam water extraction analysis for Toowoomba under increasing demand

Pfeiffer, Viktoria (2020) Dam water extraction analysis for Toowoomba under increasing demand. [USQ Project]


The world population is predicted to increase over the next 80 years by approximately 42%. This increase in population will result in an increase of pressure on finite resources such as water. Therefore, it is important to manage and use water wisely as only 1% of the worlds water is suitable for human needs. This project set out to analyse the water extraction from the Toowoomba dams with regards to operational cost and dam yield for an increasing demand. The research highlights the complexity of the Toowoomba system by the interaction of the different dams and external influences. The research shows that complex dam systems have not been analysed in much detail yet and the use of water balance models for such an analysis is also missing from the literature.

A water balance model was created for the Toowoomba dam system using historic environmental data from the Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Toowoomba population projections were provided by the Strategic Planning and Economic Development branch of the Toowoomba Regional Council. The model was verified by comparing the output for the Millennium Drought rainfall sequence and the historic known extraction from the dams for this period. Furthermore, the model was calibrated by using trial and error for the pan evaporation coefficients for each dam to match the model outcome with the historic event. It was concluded that a reliable model replicating the Toowoomba dam system was created. The analysis of the Toowoomba dams for a future demand of 2050 was split into four scenarios with the first three providing an overview of the operation of the dams for different extraction priorities. The results from the first three scenarios were then used to determine an optimal extraction method for a current and future demand for the Toowoomba system.

The analysis results show that the extraction from Cressbrook Dam should be prioritised over the other two dams. Furthermore, the extraction from Cooby Dam should be to the same priority as for Perseverance Dam to have a low overall cost for the extraction, or it should be a lower priority than Perseverance Dam to prevent Cooby Dam from emptying during the scenario run. It was found that drawing Cooby Dam down to then draw water from Cressbrook Dam results in a low total cost. For the current infrastructure, it is more likely that a shortfall occurs due to the capacity of the infrastructure rather than the unavailability of water from the dams.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 43038
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Baillie, Justine
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 01:59
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:47
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/43038

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only