Shannon Ck Dam at 99% capacity
SHANNON Creek Dam is at 99 per cent capacity, just one per cent away from the top of the spillway.
Combined with Coffs Harbour's Karangi Dam, this is enough water to reliably supply a population of 250,000 people in severe drought conditions.
The dam draws its water supply from the Nymboida River, providing the region with an alternative source of water during dry periods.
Manager of the water cycle at Shannon Creek Dam Greg Mashiah said the dam was generally allowed to fill up to a maximum of 99.5 per cent capacity, to keep it below the spillway in the event of large rainfall into the catchment.
"We have a gauge in the control mechanism that the computer controls, it opens the valve at the bottom of the dam to let the water out," Mr Mashiah said.
The closest the dam has been to overflowing was during the 2013 floods.
"We were about half a metre over the spillway. Although, that was still well below the minimum level to cause concern."
The Shannon Creek Dam opened in July 2009 and holds more than 30,000 megalitres of water, created purely for water supply and not for flood mitigation.
The Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour Regional Water Supply Scheme supplies water to the North Coast of New South Wales from Iluka in the north, all the way to Sawtell in the south.
The dam is an off stream storage meaning it's sourced from the Nymboida River at the Nymboida Hydro Electric Power Station intake weir, instead of being filled from its own catchment.
The RWS Scheme in conjunction with Karangi Dam delivers to the residents a secure, safe, and reliable water supply regardless of rainfall, while preserving flows in our natural river systems.