Thompson dam condemned to drought

Melbourne has a doomed dam that may never be full again. The Thomson Dam was built in the late 1970s/early 1980s to supply Melbourne’s increasing thirst. It took around six to seven years to fill, from 1983–89. It was at its lowest level of around 17–18% early this year. The last time the dam was at this level was while being filled in 1984.

It is a huge dam—it would take at least six years of average rainfall to fill it! When it was originally filled during the 1980s, forest logging was nowhere near today’s scale. Logging began to take off in the Thomson catchment around Baw Baw from the mid-1980s. It sky-rocketed following the signing of the RFA in 1998, and has recently been brought slightly back.

After the few big downpours we had in winter, the dam was at 38.4%, almost 10% below where it was at the end of last winter.

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