Warragamba Emergency Scheme | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Warragamba Emergency Scheme

Item details

Name of item: Warragamba Emergency Scheme
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: -33.8756442317 Long: 150.608686916
Primary address: Warragamba Dam, Warragamba, NSW 2752
Local govt. area: Wollondilly
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Tharawal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT3 DP1055236
LOT5 DP1055236
LOT6 DP1055236
LOT7 DP1055236
LOT8 DP1055236
LOT9 DP1055236
LOT1124 DP1159978
LOT1 DP87998
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Warragamba DamWarragambaWollondilly  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Water NSWState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Emergency Scheme is representative of the collective engineering response to Sydney's critical water shortage during the Second World War period. It was the first stage in the storage and extraction of water from the Warragamba River, and was preliminary to the Waragamba Dam. All of the components are excellent examples of the civil engineering skills of the times; the Balance Reservoir is particulary significant because it provides a stilling pool downstream of Warragamba Dam for the purpose of flood discharge; the group of five cottages associated with the construction of the dam are considered to be of high significance because they housed the operations staff between 1940 and 1959. These have since been incorporated into the Warragamba township, one of the largest townships in the Shire of Wollondilly.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Water Board
Builder/Maker: Water Board
Physical description: Construction site for the Warragamba Emergency Scheme was located on the east bank of the Warragamba River. Access to the site was along the road currently known as Weir Road. Major elements of the construction works still extant include the weir, a 10-cable cableway, shads, batching plants, raods, electrical substation, chlorination plant, maintenance staff accomodation, balance reservoir, Megarrity's bridge, water pumping station, tunnels, and associated pipelines.
Further information: National Trust (NSW) Listing, January 1989, Clive Lucas Stapleton with John Collocott, Warragamba Dam Conservation Analysis and Management Guidelines for items of European Cultural Significance, 1994; McGlynn, JE 'The Warragamba Emergency Scheme 1937-1940', historical research section, 'Warragamba Dam Operations Manual', Water Board, Vols 1 & 2, 16 June, 1993
Current use: Dam
Former use: (Gundungurra) traditional lands, squatting, farming, timber getting, water retention dam

History

Historical notes: One of the first places in the Gundungurra traditional homelands that most appealed to the Anglo-Celt settlers were the river flats of the Burragorang Valley (now flooded under Warragamba Dam). Even before the valley was officially surveyed in 1827-8, many early settlers were already squatting on blocks that they planned to officially occupy following the issue of freehold title grants. From the Burragorang Valley and using Aboriginal pathways, other valleys to the west were occupied and developed by the settlers with construction of outstations and stock routes. These cattle entrepreneurs were then followed by cedar-wood extractors and miners.

The Gundungurra traditional owners resisted the taking of their lands, and, relying on various laws of the colony at the time, continually applied for official ownership. Although their individual claims failed, in some kind of recognition of the significance of the designated tracts of land claimed, six Aboriginal Reserves (under the control of the NSW Aborigines Protection Board) were formally declared in the Burragorang Valley. Even after these reserves were revoked, many of the traditional owners remained, quietly refusing to leave their traditional homelands.

Finally pushed into the 'Gully', a fringe development in West Katoomba from about 1894, the Gully community stayed together for more than 60 years until dispossessed of the Gully by the then Blue Mountains Shire Council so a group of local businessmen could develop a speedway that became known as the Catalina Race Track. The Gully people kept talking about areas of land they had walked in as children - the nearby Megalong and Kanimbla Valleys and the Burragorang Valley. They knew of the profound significance of these valleys for their parents and grandparents (Johnson, 2009, 4).

Warragamba Emergency Scheme:
In 1910, E M de Burgh, Chief Engineer for Water Supply and Sewerage, in the Public Works Department prepared a proposal for a dam on the Warragamba River and followed it up in 1918 with more detailed plans. His proposals were passed onto the newly formed Metropolitan Water and Sewerage and Drainage Board in 1925 when it took over from the P.W.D. The completion of the Warragamba Emergency Scheme required during its peak 1,000 waged employees at the Headworks, and a further 1,000 on the Pipeline. All buildings used in the construction of the Emergency Scheme were designed for later re-use as cottages for the future maintenance and operations personnel. Some of these buildings were relocated from elsewhere. The main works office was the original police station at the Nepean Dam site.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Cultural: Cliffs and escarpments influencing human settlement-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Cultural: Rivers and water bodies important to humans-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Modification of terrain-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Environments important to Aboriginal traditional and spiritual life-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. All nations - places of battle or other early interactions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. All nations - controlling dispossesed peoples-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Gundungurra Nation - evidencing creation stories-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Significant Places: How are significant places marked in the landscape of Parramatta by, or for, different groups?-Monuments and Sites
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of industrial production-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of passive recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes drowned beneath dam waters-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing national landmarks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Technologies for reticulated water supply-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Technologies for flood mitigation-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Administering and alienating Crown lands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 20th century Suburban Developments-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 20th Century infrastructure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Water and drainage-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Providing drinking water-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working complex machinery and technologies-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in the public service-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating agriculture-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing reticulated water-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administration of land-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and operating public infrastructure-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with E.M. deBurgh, Public Works Chief Engineer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with E.M. deBurgh, Public Works Chief Engineer-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically rare statewide. This item is assessed as scientifically rare statewide.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0137618 Nov 99   
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 125196   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Sydney Water Heritage Study1996125196Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGRAHAM BROOKS AND ASSOCIATES PTY LTD. 1 July 1996 Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Warragamba Dam View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Warragamba Dam View detail
WrittenJohnson, Dianne2009'The Katoomba Gully People's resistence to dispossession' in History Council of NSW Bulletin, Winter

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051484
File number: 125196


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