Blowering DamOne of the biggest dams in NSW

Blowering
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Status Open to Public

Visit the Dam

Famous as the site of the world water speed record in 1978, Blowering Dam is one of the biggest dams in NSW. At 1,628,000 megalitres or three times the size of Sydney Harbour, Blowering Dam stores water released upstream for electricity generation in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme and releases it for agriculture in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. The dam also supplies water for stock and household needs for landholders and towns along the Tumut and Murrumbidgee rivers, as well as providing environmental flows, flood mitigation and hydroelectricity. The large reservoir has become a popular water sport and recreation destination.

Look out points

Dam wall

Walk across the dam wall for spectacular valley and forest views north towards Tumut and south across the reservoir fringed by the rugged bushland of Kosciuszko National Park. The dam’s rock wall is 747 metres long and 114 metres high.

Blowering Falls walking track

Enjoy changing views of Blowering Dam as this walking track climbs the hillsides above the reservoir to reach Blowering Falls.

Things to do

  • Water sports
  • Fishing
  • Camping

Opening hours

Dam foreshores

Open 24 hours a day, all year round. Entry is free.

Directions

Blowering Dam is 13 kilometres south of Tumut on the southern slopes of NSW. Tumut is 410 kilometres south-west of Sydney via the Hume Highway.

Facilities

  • Camping
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Fishing
  • Boat ramps
  • Water sports
  • Bushwalking

Fishing

Restrictions

Restrictions are in place to protect our water supply and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe visit - with penalties up to $44,000 applying:

  •  

Recreation Areas at WaterNSW dams will be closed on ALL Total Fire Ban days.

The Blowering Dam Experience

Things to see and do

1.       Visit the world water speed record site

Stand on the dam wall and imagine a jet powered wooden boat built in a suburban backyard going faster than anyone ever has before or since. That’s what Ken Warby achieved on 8 October 1978 when he set the world water speed record of 317.6 miles per hour (511.1 kilometres per hour) on Blowering Dam in his boat the Spirit of Australia. Not only does Warby’s record still stand four decades later, the 300mph barrier has never again been beaten.

2.       Water sports

The reservoir is a popular spot for all water sports including skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. Several boat ramps are available at camping grounds around the lake foreshores.

3.       Fishing

Blowering Dam is stocked with Murray cod, golden perch (yellow belly) and silver perch. Brown and rainbow trout, redfin, catfish, river blackfish and Macquarie perch are also present. The dam and its tributaries are closed to trout fishing between the June and October long weekends.

4.       Camp

There are open and grassy camping grounds on the northern foreshore in Kosciuszko National Park including The Pines, Yolde, Humes Crossing and Yachting Point. Each camping ground has a boat ramp, picnic tables, barbecues, toilets and carpark. Away from the water’s edge is Log Bridge camping ground, located at the start of the Blowering Falls walking track.


Facts & History

Blowering Dam is situated on the Tumut River, about 13 kilometres upstream of Tumut on the southern slopes of NSW and 410 kilometres south-west of Sydney.

It was built in the 1960s to store water released upstream for electricity generation in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme and release it for agriculture in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

The dam is named after a nearby property, Blowering Station.

Why the dam was built

There were proposals for a dam at Blowering as early as the late 1800s, and investigations were made in 1907. But it wasn’t until the 1950s when work began on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme that the plans were put into action.

A dam at Blowering was needed to store water already released to generate electricity, so that it could be used to expand irrigation in the Murrumbidgee Valley and meet increasing stock and domestic needs. Water released upstream to generate electricity in winter is held in Blowering until summer when it is needed by farmers for irrigation.

The extra water released into the Murrumbidgee River system opened up 95,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture on the river’s southern banks, known as the Coleambally Irrigation Area. Most of the area is made up of large farms. Rice is the main crop along with cereals, oil seeds, lucerne, grapes and fruit and vegetables.

In addition to irrigated agriculture, the dam provides water for town supplies, industry and domestic requirements, environmental flows, flood mitigation and recreation, and an 80 megawatt hydroelectric power station which uses irrigation releases, environmental flows and flood mitigation.

How the dam was built

Blowering Dam is a rock-fill embankment with a clay core. The rock wall is 747 metres long and 114 metres high. A concrete chute spillway is located at the eastern end of the dam wall.

Construction began in 1964 and was finished in 1968.

Later improvements

To meet modern dam safety standards and increase dam safety in the event of extreme flooding, an upgrade was completed in 2010. It involved construction of a parapet wall on top of the dam wall, raising the crest to its current height of 114 metres, and raising the training walls on the sides of the spillway. Storage capacity and water releases were not altered by the upgrade.

Dam Summary

114
Metres High
Length: 747 metres
1,628,000 ml total operating capacity
Size of lake:
45 km 2
Catchment: 1,606 square kilometres

Dam Wall

Size Measurement
Length 747m
Thickness of base m
Width of central spillway m
Concrete mass t
Width of auxillary spillway m
Length of auxillary spillway m

Lake and Catchment

Size Measurement
Area 45km2
Length of lake km
Length of foreshores km
Maximum depth of reservoir m
Catchment area 1,606km2
Annual average rainfall mm

Pipelines

Size Measurement
Diameter mm
Length km each
Capacity ML per day

EWN

In consultation with our stakeholders and the community we review and update these notifications.

To receive EWN notifications below please register your details with us.

To see all past archived notifications, please visit all dam notifications.


High regulated release notifications

High regulated releases are when our operations may impact landholders immediately downstream or we are releasing higher than normal flows.

Normal operations

  • Range - Consistent flows above or below 1,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - No notifications in this range after first notification (below).

Increased flows

  • Trigger - When flow increases above or below 1000 megalitres per day, or when they raise in 2,000 mega litres per day increases after that.
  • Notification - Releases are planned to increase from XX,000 megalitres per day (ML/day) to YY,000 ML/day at 00:00 on DD/MM/YY.

Flood notifications

Flood notifications indicate the dam is releasing controlled or uncontrolled flows, likely to cause downstream flooding.

Flood operations

  • Trigger - Flow increases of 10,000 and 15,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of XX,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

Flood of record

  • Trigger - Spillway flows of over 22,834 megalitres per day, last reached in 1970.
  • Notification - Flows of over 22,834 megalitres per day are being passed, levels last reached in 1970.

Dam safety notifications

Alerts will be issued in the following unlikely events:

  • When there is a reasonable possibility of dam failure.
  • State Emergency Service (SES) require advance public warning to evacuate if such a failure may occur.

Amber alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached Design Flood Level.
  • Notification - You are advised to move to higher ground and if necessary evacuate.

Red alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached crest level.
  • Notification - Residents are advised to evacuate to their designated flood assembly points.

More information

  
AgencyInformationWebsitePhone
Bureau of MeteorologyWeather forecasts and warningsBOMvaries by region
NSW Algae HotlineAlgal alert details and algae levelsDPI Water1800 999 457
NSW State Emergency ServiceFlood or severe weather warnings/adviceNSW SES132 500
NSW Water InformationStorage levels and river heightsWater infoN/A
Water NSWTo view or edit your registration detailsEWN1300 662 077
To provide feedback on our EWNFeedback1300 662 077
85.1
Monday 30 May
-0.6
2,196,752 ML
2,581,749 ML
10,600 ML
1,515 ML
-13,348 ML
Monday 30 May
54.1
Blowering Dam
Sunday 29 May