Monday, August 1, 2011

Lake Argyle

When I was working in Halls Creek in the 70's I knew the Dam was being built and then opened but it did not have any impact on my work, (except fishermen who came down would bring us fresh barramundi!) and being young I took little notice of it. 
However it was  a HUGE project and the scale of it is immense. So much water, and as mentioned a lot going into the sea but it was an idea of one of the Duracks to harness the Ord for irrigation in the Kimberley are esp Kununurra. 
Lake Argyle is a man made waterway, several times larger than Sydney Harbour. It is Australia's second largest (Lake Gordon/Lake Pedder, Tasmania is the largest) artificial lake by area.
Spillway Creek in full flow!
One of the unusual features of this dam is the fact that its overflow, called Spillway, is not situated at the dam itself, but at the northern end of Pannikin Bay. From there the water makes its way along Spillway Creek back into the Ord River.
With the lake at 170% capacity, there are more "islands", as the water cut off lower ground
The tips of the mountains of the surrounding Carr Boyd Ranges tumble into the lake making it look like some kind of strange desert fjord. 
We went on a cruise of the lake and it seemed immense, but when we looked at a map we had covered only a tiny corner. Those of us from Victoria were especially awed and frustrated that so much water went to waste, and the lack of ability to channel it to areas in need.I gather the costs and maintenance of pumping stations in such isolated country makes it economically nonviable.
Beautiful colours in the light of sun set
The water level mark. There are still hills not visible yet from the flooding.

The clay core wall. A small wall holding  huge volume for its size. The outer wall looks bigger!!

Celia & Tammy enjoying the camera opportunities!

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