Skip navigation


Australia’s natural and cultural heritage needs our protection

Raising the Warragamba Dam wall is a developer-driven proposal that will destroy 65 kilometres of wilderness rivers and inundate 4,700 hectares of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. GIVE A DAM is the grassroots community campaign to stop the destruction of the Blue Mountains national park from the raising of Warragamba Dam wall.


Stand with us

We know the majority of Australians don't want to see their world heritage sites ruined for the sake of short-term developer interest.

Thanks to the efforts of the campaign so far, the NSW Labor and Greens have committed to opposing the dam wall raising. We now need to push the federal political parties to oppose raising the dam wall, as the project will need federal government approval before construction can begin.

Show Australia's heritage some respect

The World Heritage-listed Burragorang Valley is a living museum that the NSW Government is poised to drown beneath silt-laden dam water - without the permission of the traditional owners, the Gundungurra people, and without properly surveying the cultural heritage that would be destroyed.


Get up-to-date with our latest campaign news

We just had a big victory for Australia’s forests

The Federal Climate and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, has announced the exclusion of native forest biomass energy under the label of ‘renewable energy’. This means that the biomass energy industry will find it extremely difficult to become the new driver of forest destruction in Australia.

Whistleblower: Enviva claim of ‘being good for the planet… all nonsense’

Enviva is the largest producer globally of fuel for 'biomass burning’ - which is the logging of native forests for the purpose of generating domestic electricity supply.

Gardens of Stone challenge - World Class Reserve or Theme Park

Today, the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area was gazetted, with its draft Master Plan publicly released containing plans for major visitor and tourism development.


Follow the thought leaders

How can I make a difference?

Your donation will help the Wilderness Australia team to fight for the rights for our environment.


Get the facts fast

Is the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam wall to increase Sydney's drinking water storage?

No. While Warragamba Dam is only used for drinking water supply at present, the proposal is that an additional 14 metres be added to the dam wall to capture flood waters during high rainfall events. During high rainfall events, it is proposed the additional 14 metres of airspace in the dam hold back floodwaters for five weeks at a time. After a flood event, the dam would be slowly emptied to bring the dam level back to its 'full drinking supply storage level'.

The proposal to raise its wall would increase the dam’s capacity by fifty per cent, placing 65 kilometres of wilderness streams and rivers within the World Heritage site under direct threat from dam water inundation. Australian Government documents obtained through a freedom of information request have said of the dam proposal:

“The impact of increased flood water levels within the dam is likely to have extensive and significant impacts on listed threatened species and communities and world and national heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.”

Housing developers. While the dam wall raising was proposed in 2016 by the Baird (NSW Liberal) Government, it is land developers on the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain who seek to benefit for the dam wall raising. The NSW Government has itself stated that it plans to allow developers to place and additional 134,000 people on the floodplain once the dam wall is raised - doubling the existing floodplain population.

Both Federal and State Governments need to give their approval for the dam to be raised. The Federal government has discretionary power over the proposal as it will breach the World Heritage Operational Guidelines.

The environmental impact statement for the proposal is yet to be release, with both federal and state approvals likely not being decided upon until early 2020.

Respected academic authorities have identified alternative flood mitigation measures for existing communities that do not require raising the dam wall. These alternatives including international best practice floodplain development controls, flood evacuation routes, property repurchase schemes, construction of downstream flood diversion structures, and integrated dam management and climate forecasting. You can read more about the alternatives to raising Warragamba Dam wall in a report compiled by Associate Professor Jamie Pittock here.

The NSW Liberal Government are the proponents of the dam wall raising. The NSW Labor Party and the NSW Greens have been vocal in their opposition to the proposal, voting against the Water NSW Amendment (2018) Bill that was passed by the NSW Parliament to allow the flooding of national parks resulting from the dam wall raising. NSW Labor Shadow Water Spokesperson, Chris Minns, has said the dam wall raising would not proceed if NSW Labor were elected to government. Neither major parties at a federal level have stated a position on the proposal.

Yes. There is a very real threat that raising the Warragamba Dam wall may result in the de-listing of the Greater Blue Mountains from the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is because it will impact upon the values for which the park was listed. The Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites, an Australian Committee for the body which advises UNESCO, has warned of the potential for the Blue Mountains to be placed on the World Heritage in Danger List if the dam raising were to proceed.

Yes. In 1992 the NSW Liberal government led by John Fahey proposed a 23m increase to the Warragamba Dam wall. After a business case was developed by NSW Treasury and environmental impacts were considered, the proposal was abandoned by the Carr Labor Government that was elected in 1995.

Yes. You can find an interactive map showing the approximate impacted areas of national parks here.


Join our community

Australian Foundation for Wilderness Limited
ACN 001 112 143
ABN 84 001 112 143
Advocating as 'Wilderness Australia'
Formerly The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd
Registered Office 10/154 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
Built by Code Nation using NationBuilder
Design by Think Creative Agency and Guy Threlfo