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Why build a dam?

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Why build a dam?

Water supply and energy

There are various reasons for damming a river. The most obvious is to create a more reliable water supply for a town or city. In a country where rainfall can be variable (and is often seasonal), having a ready supply of water is essential. Dams also provide water for irrigation, to grow crops and run livestock, in drier areas.

Rivers can also be dammed to generate hydro-electricity. This was the main reason behind the proposal to dam the Franklin River. Supporters argued that the dam would provide clean energy for Tasmania, create jobs and encourage economic growth.

Click on the photos below for more information

  • A lightbox depicting key locations in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme
    Irrigation and electricity
  • Black and white postcard showing a photograph of a concrete spillway, above a waterway. Gum trees line the steep bank on the left side.
    Water supply
  • Cover of a booklet titled 'Blowering Dam' showing an aerial photo of a large dam and surrounding landscape. Text and a small crest also feature at the bottom.
    Blowering Dam
  • A sepia photo taken from above a concrete dam wall. Several people stand on the wall, looking at the water on one side, and the spillway on the other.
    Mundaring Weir
  • Black and white photograph showing a dam and dam wall.
    Burrinjuck Dam


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