Warragamba Dam

Essay by Polgra August 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 24 times

Warragamba Dam

In the area of Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains a total population of 4 million they all rely on the catchment of five major river systems- Warragamba, the Upper Nepean, Shoalhaven, Blue Mountains and Woronora. The main catchment being Warragamba Dam accounting for 80% of Sydney's water supply. Warragamba dam is situated on the Warragamba River. Warragamba Dam is approximately 65 kilometres southwest of Sydney just upstream where the Warragamba River drains into the Nepean River. There are two main rivers that flow into the Warragamba River being the Wollondilly River and the Coxs River.

The development of Warragamba Dam was due to a rising population and a record drought from 1934 1942 to ensure a reliable water source for the Sydney region. Construction of the dam commenced in1948 and was completed in 1960. The dam then was 137 metres high but from 1987 to 1990 an extra 5 metres was added on to this.

Also to this, recently, a spillway has been completed in 2002 in the case of major floods. Warragamba Dam holds up to four times more water then Sydney Harbour.

When the decision to build the dam went ahead, people living on the river were asked to leave, as there homes would be un-liveable with the new dam. These people were forced to move leaving their family heritage and income. This was a major social consequence that the building of the dam impacted upon. The construction also impacted on the natural environment. The land clearing that took place created soil erosion and the relocation of many native animals. The natural flow of the water was also interrupted and the aquatic life was disturbed. Warragamba Dam does not dam all the water but has an "environmental flow", which forces the Sydney Catchment...