Ross River Dam

Ross River Dam is one of the two primary sources of water for Townsville.

Townsville City Council has a legal obligation under the Queensland State Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for both Paluma and Ross River Dams.


You can view the Ross River Dam Emergency Action Plan in full detail below.

Ross River Dam EAP (PDF, 22.1 MB)

Appendix A – Notification and Communication Lists (PDF, 3.6 MB)

  • A1 Internal Notification List (redacted)
  • A2 External Notification List (redacted)
  • A3 Downstream Residents Notification
  • A4 Emergency Alert Polygons

Appendix B – Inundation Maps and Emergency Control Measures (PDF, 6.5 MB)

  • Part 1: Flood Impact Maps – Downstream
    • B1 Flood Impact Maps – Downstream
    • Inundation Map
  • Part 2: Emergency Control Measures
    • Emergency Access Routes and Locality
    • Catchment Map

Appendix C – Equipment and Technical Information (PDF, 7.2 MB)

  • Part 1: Checklists and Instructions
    • C1 Equipment available during an emergency
  • Part 2: Technical Information – Gate Openings, Spillway and Tailwater Data
    • C2 Ross River Dam Flood Rules
    • C3 Ross River Gate Openings
    • C4 Ross River Dam Gate Discharges
    • C5 Ross River Dam Free Overflow Discharges
    • C6 Ross River Dam Discharge – One or More Gates
    • C7 Ross River Dam Storage Curve

Appendix D – Ross River Dam Emergency Action Plan Toolkit (PDF, 180.3 KB)

  • Ross River Dam Emergency Action Plan Toolkit Support Forms:
    • QAF0539 RRD Emergency Event Record
    • QAF0540 RRD Emergency Event Log of Events-Actions
    • QAF0541 RRD Emergency Event-Record of Communication
    • QAF0544 RRD Emergency Event-Flood
    • QAF0542 RRD Emergency Event-Chemical Spill or Toxic Conditions
    • QAF0548 RRD Emergency Event-Piping
    • QAF0543 RRD Emergency Event-Earthquake
    • QAF0546 RRD Emergency Event-Terrorist Activity, Threat, Hoax, or Other
    • QAF0545 RRD Emergency Event-Overturning or Sliding of Spillway

Appendix E – Notices and Responses from Local Government and District Groups (PDF, 89.6 KB)

  • E1 – Local Government Consultation and Interaction
  • E2 – District Group Consultation and Interaction

Frequently Asked Questions

Ross River Dam History

After significant flooding occurred in Townsville in 1890, 1927, 1946 and 1953, a detailed investigation was completed between 1965 and 1968 by the Irrigation and Water Supply Commission on the feasibility of a dual-purpose dam on the Ross River for flood attenuation and urban water supply. The report proposed development of a mass concrete spillway and earth wall dam constructed in two stages:

  • Stage 1 yielding 45.5ML/day of water and storage capacity of 73,000ML
  • Stage 2 yielding 113ML/day of water and storage capacity of 417,000ML.

The purpose of the staging was to defer the need to relocate the Flinders Highway and Mount Isa rail line, which is submerged by the increased storage.