Constructed lakes, canals & dams

Lake Hugh Muntz

The Gold Coast has 135 constructed lakes and more than 400 kilometres of canals. We have the largest constructed canal network in the southern hemisphere. The City of Gold Coast also owns and operates 3 dams.

Lakes and canals

Our lakes and canals are vibrant living waterways that react to changes in the environment. The health of these waterways can be impacted by natural events and human activities.

Environmental management

Keeping these waterways in good condition assists their vitally important role as buffers against flooding. They also help to reduce the impacts of major floods on surrounding and downstream areas. The volume of stormwater that pours into the waterways is directly related to increases in water levels and any major flooding.

Lakes and canals retain and treat stormwater. This includes runoff from roads, gardens, and roofs, which is often untreated. For this reason, we limit interference with the natural features and do not remove reeds or other fringing vegetation unless necessary.

Lake and canal maintenance

Canals provide areas of water traffic, such as boats, and we have a program to maintain these waterways throughout the city.

We conduct some cleaning and maintenance of lakes and canals to ensure that the water flows are not blocked and that these aquatic environments are preserved. The objective of maintenance activities is to reduce such things as human impacts – litter, introduced pest species such as Salvinia – and to maintain infrastructure. It also involves the dredging on canal banks to restore desired profiles.

Some constructed lakes require specific management:

If you have any queries regarding your canal area, please call 07 5667 5974.

We share the responsibility of looking after our natural waterways with the Queensland government. For details about these shared responsibilities visit Restoring our waterways.

Safety in lakes and canals

We recommend Gold Coast residents and visitors swim only at patrolled beaches, dedicated swimming enclosures and public swimming pools. Other recreational activities that involve your body having significant contact with water should also take place close to patrolled areas.

Dangerous aquatic organisms like stingrays, jellyfish, catfish, stonefish, sharks, algae and other microorganisms can also be found in these environments.

Further information regarding lakes and canals can be obtained by contacting us.


The City of Gold Coast owns and operates Biggera Creek Dam, Loders Creek Dam and Tallebudgera Creek Dam.

Biggera Creek Dam and Loders Creek Dam were built to reduce flood risk downstream during heavy rain events. Tallebudgera Creek Dam is used for recreation and as an emergency water source for rural fire fighting.

Hinze Dam and Little Nerang Dam are water supply dams owned and operated by Seqwater.

Maintenance and regulation

Biggera Creek Dam, Loder Creek Dam and Tallebudgera Dam are 'referable' dams under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (QLD).

The management of our referable dams is regulated by Queensland's dam safety regulator, the Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water.

Important information for residents who live nearby or downstream from theses dams can be found on Our dams page.

Dams are long-life assets that need ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Continuous advances in dam engineering standards require ongoing improvements to dam safety. We are compliant with the provisions set by the dam safety regulator and there are detailed procedures in place to help maintain high standards for the safe operation and maintenance of our dams.

In 2023, we completed remediation works to Biggera Creek Dam's outlet and downstream embankment slope following a detailed engineering review and risk assessment by a specialist dam consultant.

Tallebudgera Creek Dam was upgraded in 2007 to safely pass a 1 in 100,000 Annual Exceedance Probability flood without failure and to satisfy the dam safety guidelines and requirements. The upgrade included raising the height of the earth embankment and adding concrete reinforcement