An Historic Day in Jindabyne
Posted on Monday, 10th of October 2011
October 10th was a special day for Jindabyne and the Snowy River. At 10am Snowy Hydro opened the gates on the newly completed Spillway, sending a flood of water down the Snowy River, the likes of which has not been seen for 44 years. This spillway opening was a momentous event and is part of a water release of 84 gigalitres into the Snowy River. I have been told that 84 gigalitres equates to a volume of water 1 kilometre square and 84 metres deep! This massive release is being made into the Snowy River to start clearing out close to 50 years of sedimentation and deposits, returning the 450km of river below the Jindabyne dam wall to a time where frequent flooding kept the river in good health.
While the environmental flows like this one will help to get the rivers ecosystem working again, there is still plenty of discussion about the merits of releasing this volume of water down the river versus using it within the Snowy Hydro Scheme to generate clean, renewable electricity. It is a complex issue with good arguments for and against releasing the water. However whatever the perspective on the water releases there’s no denying this release from Jindabyne was a spectacular event.
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