Kangaroo Creek Dam upgrade, Australia

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GHD was engaged by SA Water to design upgrade works for Kangaroo Creek Dam in South Australia, to ensure the dam meets modern standards and complies with relevant ANCOLD guidelines, by providing increased spillway capacity, improved resistance to extreme seismic loading, and increased drawdown capacity through the outlet works. Our team provided geotechnical investigations, a spillway physical model study, and construction phase services.

Key design challenges included:

  • Upgrading the embankment to withstand extreme seismic and flood loading
  • Upgrading the embankment for competing requirements:
    • to provide stability should the downstream rockfill become fully saturated due to potentially low permeability layers
    • to provide internal drainage to reduce potentially high seepage gradients to prevent unravelling of the downstream rockfill
  • Unfavourable conditions in the spillway training wall foundations for post tensioned anchors, requiring a design on the basis of raising the walls using gravity sections, with resulting impacts on flow within the spillway chute
  • The requirement to maintain at least the existing Dam Crest Flood capacity at all times during the works, which has required the design of three separate cofferdam arrangements

The upgraded dam will meet current dam safety standards and will improve downstream protection for extreme flood events.



We recognise our clients’ needs for solutions that harness in-depth knowledge with forward thinking to produce innovative, safe and cost-effective outcomes. We have successfully delivered through all methods of project delivery, from the conventional approach to design and construct, alliances and Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM). 

GHD provides services for the following dam types and appurtenant structures:

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