2005 – Snowy River Environmental Releases

Brett Jones, Brian Mayhew

In preparation for the Corporatisation of the former Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, an
enquiry was held into the health of the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam. This enquiry has led to a
range of environmental release requirements being placed on the new entity Snowy Hydro, including
requirements for variable release patterns (daily base flows and periodic flushing flows) and water
quality control.

Construction works are currently underway to modify the existing Jindabyne Dam structures so that
these releases can be provided. The works include a new intake channel and control structure, a new environmental release tunnel and modifications to the existing spillway, including a concrete lined chute and plunge pool. Provision is also being made for a future mini-hydro power station, which would generate using waters released to provide environmental flows.

This paper discusses the history and background of Jindabyne Dam including the Snowy River
inquiry, details of the environmental flow requirements; design to meet the required capabilities and
the current status of the project.

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