Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spillway gates open after 15 years.....

Image: Allan,

Yesterday the spillway gates at Lake Eildon opened for the first time in 15 years.  The gates operating system has been upgraded since they were last used in 1996 and were being tested with the lake capacity at 99.21%.  

Image: Allan,

A Goulburn-Murray Water spokesman said that 150 megalitres were released, or about the equivalent of 60 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Image: Allan,
They opened each one of the gates separately to about 600 millimetres and then closed them.  It takes about two minutes to open a gate and two minutes to close again.

Top of Spillway, Pondages in distance
Image: Alaine

The water will stay in the holding pondages and will not affect the Goulburn River below Eildon or the communities downstream, which is comforting to know as we live 2 kilometres downstream in the valley!

Pondages - Image: Alaine

View from Mt. Pininger - Image: Alaine

The lake has not been this high for 15 years; shortly after 1996 we went into drought for 13 years and at one time the lake level dropped to 8%, uncovering a lot of the old farms and delivering up treasures lost when the valley was flooded in the 1950s to create the weir for irrigation and recreational activities.  Even at 8%, there was enough water for the houseboats, boating, skiing and fishing.  

From Mt. Pininger - Image: Alaine, this afternoon

The lake being at this capacity augurs well for the coming summer months; a boost to tourism and a welcome change for many businesses that have found it tough during the dry times. True to the old adage; "Just add water"!


Delwyn said...

What a secure feeling to know all that water is there. Our dams are full too ...water for years and years after those droughts.

Wanda..... said...

The power of water....the lack of or the abundance of!
Magnificent views, Alaine.

steven said...

wow! i'm very happy for the people, the animals, and of course for the fish who have a huge new world to live in and sicover!! steven

alaine@éclectique said...

Delwyn...It is a good feeling and the lifting of restrictions will help but I'm all for limits of some kind because some people are so wasteful and there will be more droughts. We also need to build more dams.

alaine@éclectique said... true; too much or too little!

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...we just have to hope for good management now...there have been accidents in the past when too much has been let out into the river causing flash flooding and pumps, fences and wildlife have been flushed away! The consequences could have been broader.

Betsy said...

Oh how wonderful! Loved seeing the photos, too. And that one you took today is just beautiful!

alaine@éclectique said...

Betsy...thank was the perfect day for photography!