Darwin River Dam

Darwin River Dam is Darwin's major water source, which refills during the annual wet season. The graph linked below shows the most recent dam levels. It is not uncommon for the spillway to overflow late in the wet season, with levels dropping in the dry season through heavy water use and evaporation.

Darwin River Dam is an ungated dam and spillway flow cannot be regulated. Spilling from the dam occurs in most years and is expected behaviour. Spillway overflow may last for periods ranging from days to weeks depending on rainfall.

During spillway overflow, river levels downstream of the dam may rise rapidly in response to further rainfall in the catchment. This may cause sudden changes in levels at road crossings downstream of the dam.

Power and Water does not provide information on downstream river levels, nor predictions about areas that may be inundated during normal spillway overflow. It is important to consider that localised rainfall also influences water levels in Darwin River downstream of the dam.

For current public warnings and advice please refer to the Secure NT website.

Public access to Darwin River Dam

Power and Water has changed public access arrangements at the Darwin River Dam to alleviate risks to the quality of Darwin’s drinking water supply, ensure public safety and prevent vandalism.

The Darwin River Dam is a vital piece of infrastructure, providing around 85 per cent of Darwin’s water supply, with only limited supplies available from other sources.

With increasing awareness of public safety risks, Power and Water’s obligations under national health and safety legislation and reservoir and drinking water safety standards, continued public access to critical drinking water supply sources is an unacceptable risk and is not consistent with industry best practice.

Power and Water has therefore closed the dam to the general public, but will maintain managed visitation through pre-arranged bookings of supervised groups, for example for educational purposes.

A safety induction for school groups and other authorised visitors can be accessed on the Power and Water website: Water Services Safety Induction