Tillegra Dam proposal

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Tillegra Dam
Tillegra Dam proposal is located in New South Wales
Tillegra Dam proposal
Location of the proposed Tillegra dam
Country Australia
Location 20 km (12 mi) NW of Dungog, New South Wales
Coordinates 32°19′13″S 151°41′10″E / 32.32028°S 151.68611°E / -32.32028; 151.68611Coordinates: 32°19′13″S 151°41′10″E / 32.32028°S 151.68611°E / -32.32028; 151.68611
Status Cancelled
Construction cost A$477 million (est)
Dam and spillways
Impounds Williams River
Height 80 m (262 ft)
Length 800 m (2,625 ft)
Total capacity 450,000 megalitres (360,000 acre·ft)
Catchment area 194 km2 (75 sq mi)
Surface area 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi)

Tillegra Dam was a proposed dam on the Williams River to be located 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Dungog, in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It was first proposed in the 1970s but a formal proposal was not announced until 2006. That proposal was scrapped in November 2010. However, the Hunter Water Corporation still owns large tracts of land in the area of the proposed dam area.[1]


The Tillegra Dam was first proposed by the Hunter Water Corporation in the 1970s, but was deferred indefinitely in the 1980s due to the success of user pays pricing.[2] On 13 November 2006, the NSW Government announced proposals for a A$300 million dam at Tillegra to supply water to the Lower Hunter Region and Central Coast. The justification for the dam was based primarily on climate change, with population growth in the Hunter Region also of some relatively minor concern.[3] The announcement was made without prior community consultation and there is no mention of the proposed dam in Hunter Water's Integrated Water Resource Plan of August 2006.[4] Nor is the proposal mentioned in the 2006 State Plan, which was released the next day.[5]


The No Tillegra Dam Group was formed to prevent the building of the dam. Opponents say the dam is grossly excessive for this need, will drown valuable agricultural land and greater water efficiency, demand management and recycling would eliminate the need for the dam.[6]


On 28 November 2010 the NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, announced the cancellation of the dam after the Planning Minister refused to approve it.[7] The refusal was based on both the potential for environmental damage and the lack of proper consideration of alternative water security measures.[8] The state government had already spent $100 million on the project.


  • Height of dam wall: 80 m (262 ft)
  • Length of dam wall: 800 m (2,625 ft)
  • Surface area: 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi)
  • Length of lake: 10 km (6 mi)
  • Total capacity: 450 gigalitres
  • Average flow of Williams River: 94 gigalitres per annum.[9]
  • Estimated Cost: A$477 million (as of April 2010)


  1. ^ "Tillegra Dam – Plan showing Lands Owned By HWC" (PDF). Hunter Water Corporation website. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Securing Our Water Future Tillegra Dam" (PDF). Hunter Water Corporation. November 2006. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  3. ^ "Why Tillegra Now?" (PDF). Hunter Water Corporation. August 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "Tillegra Dam Shock Announcement". YouTube (originally aired on NBN News). 14 October 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008. ;
    "Integrated Water Resource Plan" (PDF). Hunter Water Corporation. August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "State Plan – A New Direction for NSW". NSW Government. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "No Tillegra Dam". No Tillegra Dam Group. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Jones, Jacqui (29 November 2010). "'Retrofitting' an alternative to Tillegra". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Tillegra plans 'fail to recognise heritage impacts'". ABC Online. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Water resources – Availability – New South Wales". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008.