EILDON HISTORY

ABOUT LAKE EILDON

Location

Lake Eildon is located on the Goulburn River in its upper catchment, immediately below the junction with the Delatite River.

History

about2 Harnessing the river catchments in the vicinity of the present Lake Eildon began in the early 1900s. Development of this water resource was undertaken by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (SR&WSC) to provide irrigation water for what was a vast uncultivated area on Victoria’s northern plains. This region has since developed into the largest area of irrigated farmland in Australia and is known as the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

about3Construction of the original storage, which was known as Sugarloaf Reservoir, took place between 1915 and 1929. It was modified in 1929, and again in 1935 to increase the storage capacity to 377,000 ML. However, this reservoir was still limited in its capacity to meet the growing demand for water in the Goulburn Valley and to protect farmers during drought years.

about1Following a detailed feasibility study of all possible storage sites on the Goulburn River, it was decided that the existing dam site was the most suitable for construction of a larger dam. In 1951, work began to enlarge the storage to its present capacity (3,334,158 ML) which is six times the size of Sydney Harbour. The enlargement was completed in 1955 and the storage was renamed Lake Eildon.

The enlargement plans also considered Victoria’s electricity needs. The original 15 MW hydro-electric generation capacity at the Sugarloaf Reservoir was increased to 120 MW through the installation of two 60 MW turbines. The oldest turbines were renovated in 2001 to provide a generation capacity of 135 MW.

Operations

Since construction of Dartmouth Dam, the Goulburn and Murray components of the GMID have been operated separately with regard to water allocations for irrigators. On average, 91% of water released from Lake Eildon is diverted for irrigation purposes and the lake supplies about 60% of water used in the GMID. The capacity of Lake Eildon has been designed to allow for irrigation supplies to be provided over at least two drought seasons. Although not intended as a flood control storage, Lake Eildon does have considerable potential to mitigate floods in the Goulburn River, downstream of the storage. Operation of the power station during the irrigation season (August to May) is governed mainly by release of water to meet irrigation demands, but it may also be operated during winter and spring when flood releases can be used to generate electricity. The power station can also be used to meet short term emergency power needs resulting from industrial disputes or plant breakdown elsewhere in the State’s power grid. A 5,200 ML pondage below the dam temporarily detains water discharged from the power station and regulates releases downstream to minimise variations in flow due to intermittent power generation. In 1995 a small hydro-electric station with 4.5 MW output was installed on the pondage.

With the assistance of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission the club was granted a lease in what is now named Anderson Harbour (after the Club’s founding secretary) on the enlarged lake.

The State Rivers & Water Supply Commission helped clear the Harbour and built the infrastructure of roads, car parks, toilets and other facilities. It was through a rent set with the State Rivers & Water Supply Commission that they were recompensed for their assistance. The members, through numerous working-bees, burnt the trees felled by the State Rivers & Water Supply Commission, constructed a slipway, workshop, toolshed in 1988, caretakers house, and laid the moorings.

about4The boats in the Club, through the 1950’s, were cruisers. In the early 1960’s came the first houseboat, which changed the Clubs needs. Marinas were built to accommodate the houseboats.

about5The original club house was built in 1967 and since that time the facilities of the Club have never stopped improving, through the hard work of its members. The new Clubhouse was opened in December 1998 and offers the members a facility of the highest standard and caters for up to 250 members. A varying menu and excellent wine list complement the building, ensuring our members and guests enjoy the relaxing atmosphere provided by our friendly staff.

We have 480 full members, 150 social members, 145 family-linked members, 9 life members, combined with 428 marina berths and 189 dry storage sheds, various infrastructure buildings comprising clubhouse, residential houses, service workshops and slipway sheds.

The Club is primarily for promotion of water sports through boating incorporating skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing , jet skiing, fishing and junior sailing programmes.

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