This 90-minute tour led by architect Annabel Lahz (Lahznimmo Architects), General Manager Regional Operations Sydney, Brian Mayhew (Water NSW) and catchment area manager Mary Knowles (Water NSW) will explore the Warragamba Dam’s ground-breaking design and share insights into Sydney’s complex water supply system.
Warragamba Dam is located 65 kilometres west of Sydney in a narrow gorge of the Warragamba River on the lands of the Gundungurra Nation.
More than a century after its location was first suggested, work commenced in 1948 to build a reliable new water supply for Sydney’s growing population. Completed in 1960, Warragamba Dam was constructed by 1800 workers of more than 25 nationalities using three million tonnes of concrete.
Lake Burragorang, the man-made reservoir formed behind Warragamba Dam, supplies up to 80 per cent of the water used by more than five million people living in Greater Sydney today. It is one of the world’s largest drinking water supply dams.
Annabel Lahz is co-founder and director of Lahznimmo Architects working at the intersection of landscape, urban design and architecture. Her projects include the Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre, the Wallace Wurth building at the University of New South Wales and the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. Lahz graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Design (Honours) from the University of Queensland and received the Queensland Institute of Architects Medallion, the Board of Architects Prize and the University Medal.
Brian Mayhew is Water NSW’s General Manager Regional Operations Sydney, responsible for the operation of one of the world’s largest domestic water supply dams, Warragamba Dam. As well as operating and maintaining all of Greater Sydney’s water supply dams, his team manages the extensive bushland catchments that surrounds most of Sydney’s dams. Beginning as a trainee civil engineer with State Rail, Brian’s engineering career has taken him to roles across Australia in the energy, mining and industrial construction sectors. He joined WaterNSW 5 years ago for the opportunity to look after Warragamba Dam, and for the privilege of caring for the pristine bushland that helps protect the quality of Sydney’s drinking water.
Mary Knowles is WaterNSW’s catchment area manager for the bushland that surrounds Sydney’s drinking water dams. After completing an honours degree in environmental science at the University of NSW, Knowles joined Sydney Water’s graduate program where she discovered some of the best bushland she had ever visited was helping to protect the water quality of Sydney’s dams. Today, she and her team of 20 land management experts protect ecological integrity and water quality in these designated Special Areas and perform critical bushfire, pest and weed management. They also manage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage in the Special Areas and look after WaterNSW’s recreation areas at Sydney’s dams for the public to enjoy.
On Mulgoa, Gundungurra land
Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre
1 Production Ave
Warragamba NSW 2752
23 September 2023