Hydro Electricity in Tasmania Australia

The entire electricity needs of Tasmania are met by hydroelectric power from 27 power stations fed by 52 storages. The landscape changes to meet this need are great and are summarized below:

• More than 1100 km2 of river valleys, wetlands and pre-existing lakes have been inundated for Hydro development.

• The catchment area feeding into Hydro storages takes up 21 500 square kilometres, which equates to 36% of the area of Tasmania.

• 107 dams and weirs have been constructed, affecting 21 creeks, 25 rivers, and 7 estuaries.

Table 1 Inventory of the largest lakes in each state or territory of Australia and New Zealand

State/territory

Lake

Area (km2)

Maximum depth (m)

Origin

South Australia

Lake Eyre (saline)

9500

3-6a

Upwarping of adjoining lowlands

Western Australia

Lake Mackay (saline)

3494

Shallow, frequently dry

Deflated lake basin

Northern Territory

Lake Amadeus (saline)

1032

Shallow, frequently dry

Deflated lake basin (>5 M years old)

New South Wales

Lake Garnpung

542

Typically dry

Deflated lake basin

Tasmania

Lake Gordon

270

140

Dammed hydroelectric reservoir

Queensland

Lake Dalrymple

220

30

Dammed river

Victoria

Lake Corangamite (saline)

209

6

Depression in volcanic terrain

Australian Capital Territory

Lake Burley Griffin

7.2

18

Dammed river

North Island (NZ)

Lake Taupo

616

163

Volcanic

South Island (NZ)

Te Anau

348

417

Glacial

aDepth varies from completely dry to maximum during extreme floods that periodically fill the lake.

aDepth varies from completely dry to maximum during extreme floods that periodically fill the lake.

Figure 5 Lake Ruataniwha in MacKenzie Country, central South Island, a major rowing venue in NZ and a controlled lake (for hydroelectric storage). The blue color is enhanced by light-scattering glacial flour, which decreases the optical depth. (Photo: J. Brookes.)

• At least 1200 kilometres of natural creeks and rivers are affected by diversion or addition of water, and modification of the natural flow regime.

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