Lake Eildon

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Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:19 am

I have a vested interest in Lake Eildon and with the N/S pipeline to be in operation in the near future, I though it would be good to create a thread on Lake Eildon.

Here is extract from LakeEildon.com (thanks to Philp!!)

Eildon continues to rise, and in fact seems to have settled into its winter pattern of climbing steadily now. Current level is 12.61%, 0.21% higher than this time last week. We would expect to see rises every week now until at least September, and hopefully much, much later than that! At this point, the changes are still small, but a big rain event will see it start coming up in jumps of whole percentages.

The various indicies are mixed this week. Comparison with the All Time Average (ATA) is good - up 0.13% to 22.57%. Same with Last Five Year Average (L5A) which is up 0.06% to 74.25%. The lake gained 0.03% on last year's level to be 1.28% lower, but it lost ground on both 1983 and 2003 levels. Against 1983, it lost 0.74% to be 11.08% behind, and against 2003 levels it dropped 0.49% to be only 2.27% in front. When it's all been counted, this remains the third lowest level in the lake's history (only 2003 and 2007 were lower) as it has been since last September.

The physical lake level is starting to move more now as well. The level rose by 20 cm this week to be 36.73 metres below full. Still over 100 feet down, unfortunately!


Last edited by Karl Lijnders on Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Think it might get a better response here... I certainly have some thoughts!!!!)

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:25 am

Thanks again to Philp from LakeEildon.com!!

Well... sounding like a stuck record, let me say, Eildon is up, but it ain't spectacular. Current level is 12.79%, a rise of 0.18% on last week's result.

The indicies are also sluggish of course. Against ATA, it is up 0.06% to 22.63%. Against L5A it is down 0.48% to 73.77%. Compared to last year, the lake is 1.29% lower, up just 0.01%. Against 1983 levels, it is down 0.39% to 11.47%. And it is also down by 0.39% against 2003 levels to be just 1.88% higher.

The physical lake level rose by 17 cm to be 36.56 metres below full. The magic number of 30.48 metres - or 100 feet - is still a long way away.

The general trend of winter is that it will start off with a bunch of low rises like we have been having. So, to date, nothing unusual. Then what happens is we get a week or so of really wet weather and the figures dramatically jump. Then top up rains simply keep it rising by 1% a week or thereabouts. I am telling you this because for the last 10 months or so, this has been the 3rd lowest level in the lake's history, with only 2003 and 2007 lower. BUT, in 2007, the first big jump came in week 27 and 28. So, we will fall behind 2007 levels in the next two weeks unless there is significant rain. Then, in week 31 (5 weeks time), 2003 had a sustained week period that saw the lake rise enormously over a couple of months. If we didn't get any significant rain in the next 6 weeks, we would find ourselves in the position of 2009 being at a record all time low. This is (you might recall) exactly what happened last year in August, and while it quickly got back above a couple of the bad years, I am sure we don't want the lake to go there again.

So - we wait, and hope for the rains to come.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:27 pm

Thanks again to Philp from LakeEildon.com

Happy 54th Birthday to Lake Eildon, which started to collect water on 1st July 1955, which gives me a lovely 2,815 weeks worth of statistics to play with each time I go to my spreadsheet!

There have been plenty of happier times in the lake's history than this - but a wet year would certainly help to turn it around. Right now the lake sits at 13.04% - which is a rise of 0.25% since last week. If you ranked all the weeks in the lake's history from biggest rise to greatest drop, then this would be the 979th best result ever, but it is the first time in 2009 that a result has made it into the top 1000. It is the biggest rise of the year so far.

Indicies are mostly negative though, as Eildon ought to be rising much quicker than this. ATA is 22.68%, up by 0.05%. L5A is 71.75%, down by 2.02%. It is 1.35% lower than last year, down by 0.06%. It is 11.90% lower than 1983 levels, which is 0.43% lower, and it is only 1.44% ahead of 2003 levels, which is down by 0.44%.

The physical lake level is up to 36.33 metres below capacity, which is a rise of 23 cm

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Malleefarmer on Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:44 pm

hanks for the work sniper. Always good to have a report from the field to know what's happening. The rain would have been OK around there this week eh? Might see some better flows over your way from it over the next few days. Was talking to a friend who was over near Benalla during the week and he reckoned that the river had bugger all in it when he got there but was very high by the time he left. Hopefully this can keep going and do some good.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:07 pm

We're heading up to the Lake this weekend. Am looking forward to hopefully a decent rise in the lake since last week. Also hoping the Models stay true with some decent falls over the weekend.

On a sad, but interesting note, I am travelling through the Black Spur/Narbethong/Buxton area for the first time since Black Saturday. Will have the kids on board, so I won't be taking a detour to Marysville. Will wait for spring. Will post photos on our return.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Karl Lijnders on Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:18 pm

Have a good time Wes. I hope that it is a nice and somewhat wet weekend - I am sure it will be with that rain stacking up along the divide.

I am sure also that figures to come from the region will be showing some increase in flows with 50-150mm in the region over the last week. Dohertys and Jamieson had about 70-80mm out of the event. Very useful!!
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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:26 pm

Thanks Karl. Still tossing whether to head up tomorrow evening or sparrows Saturday morning. Fantastic report for Eildon this week thanks again to Philp from LakeEildon.com

And now for some really good news - Eildon is up by 1.36% to 14.40%. This is the biggest weekly rise in 99 weeks - you have to go back to 16th August 2007 to find a larger increase. Yay!

As a consequence, everything looks pretty good. The ATA is up to 24.54%, up by 1.86%. Against L5A, it is up by 3.09% to 74.84%. Compared to last year, the lake has risen by 0.75% to be just 0.60% lower. It lost ground against 1983 levels by 0.99% do be 12.89% lower, but it gained 0.93% against 2003 levels to be 2.37% higher. A very good result.

The physical lake level rose by 1.21 metres to be 35.12 metres below full. That is a rise of more than 17 cm per day, or around 7 inches.

The reason for all the positive news is that it has been raining, and raining well! The weather report seems to suggest there is more to come - let's hope it keeps raining, because right now things are wet and rain means runoff means increases in storage levels.

Great news! More rain please, but this is a strong step in the right direction!

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:31 pm

Further to the previous post, inflows for today were 3800ML with outflows at 130ML. Smile

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Karl Lijnders on Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:57 pm

And with rain and isolated thunderstorms continuing on the northern slopes descending throughout tonight and further showers over the coming 72hrs I think we could see those inflows increase quite a lot.

Suspect 20-30mm throughout in the next day or two.
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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:09 pm

Thanks again to Philp @ LakeEildon.com.

Eildon is up again, by 0.86% to a new level of 15.26%. This of course is not as good as last week, but still a solid rise for winter.

I am struggling a bit with some of the indicies because I don't have the full spreadsheet here, but in any case, we can say that we have gained on last year's level to be only 0.54% lower, and gained on 2003 levels to be 2.73% higher. At the same time in 1983, the lake was 28.84% - which is 13.58% higher. The All Time Average prior to this result was 60.59%, so our current level is around 25.2% of that. The Five Year Average was 21.28%, so it is at around 71.7% of that average. These figures will be slightly out because the current result moves the overall averages as well - but it give you an idea...

Physical lake level is higher by 73 cm to be 34.39 metres below full.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:02 am

Hi everyone - Eildon has risen this week, but again not by as much as we would want. It increased by 0.89% to be 16.17% of capacity. This rise is 61.1% of the average rise for this time of year. Due to bigger rises in previous years, this is now the second-worst level in the lake's history, with only the 2003 figure lower.

Indicies are ok - considering. ATA is up by 0.87% to be 26.40%, L5A is up by 2.10% to 78.54%. The lake lost 0.16% on last year to be 0.70% lower. It gained 0.17% on 1983 levels but is still 13.41% lower. And it lost 0.18% on 2003 levels to be 2.55% lower.

The physical lake level has risen by 74 cm this week to be 33.65 metres below full - this means we have have a total rise of almost 3 metres in the last 3 weeks, which when you consider the size of the lake gives you some idea of the amount of water being captured at this time of year.

The big concern is that Eildon needs to rise by a minimum of 1.3% this week or else we are going to be announcing a new RECORD LOW next week. Week 31 of 2003 saw a massive increase that shot the level up to 17.46%, and as mentioned this is the only year with lower figures than 2009 at present. Let's hope for a really wet week and a big turn-around with the numbers; this is a record we don't really want to break.

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Lake Eildon

Post  Scott Lawrance on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:23 am

This is very interesting. Just an historical note - my parents alwys say that they remember Lake Eildon filling in the first year it was built in 1956 it was such a wet year. My - how times have changed and I wonder if we will see years like that again.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:01 pm

Unlikely to see the Lake full again Scott, especially with the water allocations to farmers who use the Goulburn. I don't want to preempt tomorrow' Weekly report on the lake level, however it will be at a record low for this time of year. And given we are half way through "filling" season, I will be expecting the level to drop to around 5-7% if rainfall trends remain the same or worsen.

However Brumby, kept building that pipe son!! Rolling Eyes

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Lake Eildon

Post  Scott Lawrance on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:56 am

The wretched pipeline! My sister is Jan Beer who has fought tooth and nail to stop it and it still is ploughing on regardless. Driving the Melba Highway is the most upsetting experience seeing the wholesale destruction of the landscape not to mention the irreversible damage to our water system when it is up and going. It is the ill conceived project none to man in my opinion which flies against all reason.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:01 am

Another small rise sees Eildon sitting at 16.71% overnight - up 0.54% on last week. This rise is only 37.8% of the usual rise for this time of year. Although there was a rise, the result means that this is the lowest Lake Eildon has EVER been at this time of year in its 55 year history.

The indicies are pretty ordinary. It did rise against ATA by 0.26% to be 26.66%, while it dropped by 0.10% against L5A to be 78.44%. It dropped 0.37% compared to last year to be 1.07% lower, and 0.38% against 1983 to be 13.79% lower. The big loss was against 2003 levels, where the lake dropped by 3.30% in the week to now be 0.75% lower. It was a very wet week in 2003, and we have failed to match it by far.

The physical lake level also rose slightly to be 33.22 metres below full - up by 43 cm over the course of the week.

A disappointing result to see it lower than it has ever been at this time of year, but not surprising - I had been kind of expecting this to happen for some weeks now. How long might we remain the "worst ever"? Well - it could be only a week if it rained a lot this coming week, but the trend is not good. Short of a remarkable result, we could easily remain at the worst ever for another 7 or 8 weeks.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:11 am

A comment piece from Philp (forum contributor/leader) at LakeEildon.com

Eildon is in a terrible mess. Not only Eildon, but virtually all water storages in country Victoria - especially those north of the Great Divide... but this does not make it any easier or better. Eildon is in strife.

For almost 8 years now I have been writing a regular report on this web site about the level of the lake. I do this based on weekly statistics that reach back to the day the gates were opened on the old Sugarloaf Dam and Lake Eildon as we now know it began to form - that was July 1955. So - I have at my disposal several thousand observations of the lake over 55 years. And my summation of things is - Eildon is in trouble.

For some time I have been looking at the 50% line: that is the shore line when Eildon is at exactly half of its capacity. For the record - that line is 273.2 metres above sea level, and when the lake shore is on that line, it is 15.6 metres below full. That's a long way down! Anyway, as of this week, it has been 448 weeks since Eildon has been at that level. Yes - it was the 26th December 2000 that we last saw Eildon with 50% of capacity or more. This is such a long time that a glance at Eildon now sees a new shoreline forming. In most places, you can still see the full line - the end of the trees and often a small waterline from where a full lake has lapped... but it is disappearing. Now, there is a new shoreline significantly lower down forming, with vegetation taking a significant hold of the banks well down towards the 50% mark. It has been years since these banks have been inundated, so vegetation has happily formed well below the full mark. The conclusion is that 50% is almost like the new "full mark". Forget about seeing Eildon full again - just hope that one day you will see it at 50%.

But wait - there is worse. With the lake still down at 16 and a bit percent despite winter being 2/3 over, we have to start wondering whether the lake is going to make it past 25%. Forget about half full - will it even make it to one quarter full? If it does not make it, then this will be the fourth winter in a row that it did not reach 25%. In fact - a look at the records says that Eildon fell below 25% on 30th March 2006, and has not been back above that level since. That is no less than 174 weeks - approaching 3 and a half years.

I need to give you some more history to bring this into sharper focus. At the start of July, the big dam was formed and Eildon started to fill. It took just 7 weeks (can you believe - it was a very wet winter) to pass 25%, doing so on 19th August 1955. After that, it stayed above 25% year in year out, for the next 28 years. The next time it dropped below 25% was on 3rd March 1983 after an exceptionally dry summer. It remained below 25% for 19 weeks, before the winter rainfall again began to refill the lake. After that, it again remained above 25% until 4th April 1999.

Now that date turned out to be quite significant; in 2,281 weeks up until that date, Eildon had only been below 25% for 19 weeks - which makes 0.83% of the time. Since that date, in 538 weeks, Eildon has been below 25% for no less than 311 weeks - that is 57.8% of the time. Unbelievable! And of course, now the lake has been below 25% for 174 weeks, a figure that will rise to well over 220 at least if we don't get above 25% this winter...

The bottom line - maybe 25% is becoming the new "full" for Eildon. That's a mark 27.8 metres below the full capacity line - in some places 12 kilometres from the original full line.

What does this mean? It has several impacts. Firstly - policy makers (I mean State Government mostly) need to stop thinking of Eildon as the untapped resource that they apparently think it is. In 2006 - we gave away around 15% of the lake's capacity to the lower Murray. 15% we didn't have to spare and despite the weekly protests on this web site and in direct petition to government and water authority - fell on deaf ears. We have set up Eildon to feed water to Bendigo and Ballarat. Talk is Geelong will happen shortly, and they are building a pipeline to Melbourne. All this additional demand - based on Eildon having plenty of water. But Eildon is only 1/4 of the lake it used to be - and its time it was recognised as such.

Secondly, I have a tendancy to forget (and I don't think I am the only one) who this lake was primarily built for... and that is the farmers who grow our fruit and vegetables in the Goulburn Valley. Shepparton and surrounding districts are a significant agricultural contributor to Australia's food supplies. Consumers - that's all of us actually - depend on their crops. Particularly for stone fruits, but not only. And what has happened? Year after year, these guys have not got their full water allocation. In recent years, around 25% has become a figure they are well aquainted with - as this has been around how much of their water right they actually get. This coming summer, unless there is a lot of rain shortly, they won't even get that. Their allocation is so low that many have simply ripped out their trees - it's too tough. Those who battle on have had to use their water to keep the trees alive but they cannot expect a decent crop with so little supply. The industry is in dire times. And that is not only an issue of the livelihood of some farmers somewhere - this is an issue that affects what goes on our tables for dinner each day, and how much we are going to pay for it. We are all in this together...

Thirdly, from a recreational use perspective (and we have come to realise how secondary this use is regarded in recent years), towns and facilities on the arms of the lake are dead. At 25%, Bonnie Doon, Howqua and Mansfield's lakeside community simply have no lake. The lake is the reason those towns are there. Effectively that means they are dead. Another ring of settlements - Gough's Bay and Peppin Point for example - are pretty limited at 25%. Sure - the lake still has plenty of water for recreation, and if you access it from Eildon or Jerusalem Bay, you can still enjoy it. But it is limited. The old claims about "always being able to find your own little inlet to pull into" are lost because there is a lot less lake and therefore a lot less such inlets.

Eildon is in strife. It's time to recognise it for what it is. Even if the lake makes it above 25% one day, it would seem almost impossible for it to make it above 50% again, and it will certainly never be full again. It no longer has heaps of water to spare - not for irrigation, or for drinking, or even for playing. It's not the lake it was. It can still be good - but not what it was, and it may never be again.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Karl Lijnders on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:01 pm

Alarming!!!!!

Better get there while there is water in it!!!!
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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:35 am

Eildon has again experienced a slight and steady rise in the last week, up by 0.61% to 17.32% of capacity. This rise is only 34.4% (slightly more than one third) of the average rise at this time of year. In 55 years of the lake's history - this is the lowest level ever recorded in the month August.

The indicies simply reflect this downward trend, although the ATA is 26.87% (up by 0.21%). L5A is down by 0.26% to 78.16%. Eildon dropped 0.18% on last year to be 1.25% lower. It dropped 0.72% on 2003 levels to be 1.47% lower, and it dropped a huge 2.39% on 1983 levels to be 16.18% lower.

The phyisical lake level increased by 47 cm over the week to be 32.75 metres below full.

Over the month of July, Eildon rose by a total of 2.79%, which is just over half (58.5%) the average rise. It's a far cry from 1964 when the lake came up a record 16.81% in July. That's very nearly the ENTIRE current storage in a month!

We keep waiting for the "wet week" that usually comes along at some time in a winter, when the lake jumps by 3 or more percent in a go. Historically, most winters a couple - we've not had one since July 2007.

We sit at record low levels and simply wait for more rain...

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:06 am

Thanks again to Philp from LakeEildon.com

Another steady rise, but Eildon remains at record low levels. Overnight it was at 18.03%, a rise of 0.71% in the week. This is only 41.1% of the usual rise for this time of year. It is the third consecutive week of being the lowest level ever.

Indicies are a bit mixed - ATA is up by 0.38% to 27.25%, L5A is up by 0.27% to 78.43%. The lake gained 0.02% on last year's level to be 1.23% lower. But it lost 0.69% on 1983 levels to be 16.87% lower, and 2.35% on 2003 levels to be 0.88% lower.

The physical lake level was up by 54 cm in the week to be 32.21 metres below full.

Unfortunately, this record low will continue for a few more weeks yet unless there is a severe storm dropping a lot of rain really soon! The year to watch is 2006: the current level is 5.29% higher than the 2006 level of 23.32%, but that was as high as the lake got in 2006. Week by week it dropped, and if our results keep rising for a few more weeks, we will soon find ourselves ahead of that level. Anyway - let's hope so, because that 2006 level was on its way down to the all time record low of 5.31% and we don't want to go back there!

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:10 am

Good to see that the Libs, Nationals and Greens passing a disallowance motion against the North-South pipeline. The motion was to allow 75 billion litres of water be "looted" from Eildon.

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:54 am

Eildon continues its trend for virtually all of winter - it is rising but not fast enough to make up the shortfall of recent years. The lake is up to 18.82%, increasing by 0.79% in the week. This is still the lowest level we have ever seen at this time of year (4th week in a row) and is only 42.5% of the average rise for this time of year. Indeed, in the last 13 weeks that the lake has been rising, it has only once exceeded the average rise for that week, and 10 times it has been less than half of the average rise.

The indicies are still somewhat deceptive - especially the all time average. As the lake only has 1/4 of the water it has on average, then a rise of one quarter of the average rise means the all time average is maintained. So please don't be fooled into thinking that this index being positive is FANTASTIC news, it is simply better than negative...

ATA is up by 0.41% to be 27.66%. The L5A is up by 0.48% to be 78.91%. But individual year comparisons tell a story... it lost 0.19% on last year's level to be 1.42% lower, lost 1.13% on 1983 levels to be 18.00% lower, and 1.17% on 2003 levels to be 3.52% lower. The year to watch in my mind is 2006. The lake is still 4.34% lower than 2006 levels, but it got 0.95% closer in the past week. Given a few more weeks of steady rises, we will find the 2009 level finally get back above 2006, and become only the second worst year ever!

The physical lake level rose by another 58 cm or so to be 31.63 metres below full. The lake's rise has been steady over the last 13 weeks and has lifted around 5 and a half metres over its autumn low. Keep that up and we will pass a point of interest in a couple of weeks - stay tuned for that one.

Good to hear reports that there is more rain on the way for the lake - it needs it all! If you follow the national weather reports you would possibly realise that up here in Brisbane we have had one of the driest winters and they are now talking serious fire risk, and the last week of winter is going to feature four consecutive days over 30 degrees! It sure isn't like winter as I know it!

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:19 am

14mm overnight, 21mm for the week to 9am Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing the level reach 20% in the next few days. Smile

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:35 am

Current inflow is 5600mg, outflow is 130mg.
Fill you bastard!!!

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:50 am

As the chatter all week has been saying, it's been wet around Eildon this week, and the lake has responded with a good rise of 1.09% to a new level of 19.91%. It's good but not great - it is still only 66.1% of the average rise for this week; there have been some very wet weeks at this time of year historically! Unfortunately, the rise was not enough to get off the bottom - it is still the lowest the lake has ever been at this time of year, for the 5th week in a row.

The rise has had a good impact on some of our important indicies. Against the all time average (ATA) the lake is up by 0.91% to be 28.57%. Against the Last 5 Year Average (L5A) it is up by 1.18% to 80.09%. It gained 0.32% on last year to be 1.10% lower. But it lost 0.48% on 1983 levels to now be 18.48% lower, and it lost no less than 3.11% on 2003 levels to be 6.63% lower. That's right - in 2003 the lake rose by 4.20% in this week!

The important year I am watching is 2006, and the lake gained 1.23% on 2006 levels to now be 3.11% lower. Hopefully in the next 3 weeks or so we will close that gap and 2009 will no longer be a record low year.

The physical lake level rose by 78cm to be 30.85 metres below full.

Sniper

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Re: Lake Eildon

Post  Sniper on Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:54 am

30mm for the week ending Monday 31/08. We recorded 12mm over this weekend at Taylor bay which was handy, but was hoping more!!

August rainfall was similar to August 2008 with around 75mm of rain recorded. Inflows are very good at the moment but we (like the whole state) need a wet September/October.

Sniper

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Re: Lake Eildon

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