Lake Wendouree is in the beautiful regional city of Ballarat and is still empty. The lake is surrounded by lovely parks, conservatories, a walk of sculpted busts of all of Australia's Prime Ministers and an operational remnant of Ballarat's tram system. Seems I can't embed a map of the routes of the Bendigo tram system, but here is a link.
As I said, the lake is now pretty well empty and has been for a few years. It is a sea of grass with some muddy puddles. You can see some photos here from 2008.
Here is a quote from the City of Ballarat website: "... and with the continuation of existing climate patterns, the Lake would not be expected to fill to capacity again."
Right, so we have had a prolonged drought and it is not the first time the lake has been empty. This year we have had quite reasonable rain fall. Why isn't the lake filling?
Fear not, it will fill. Authorities have gotten some dollars together and and with a combination of its normal direct rainfall collection and storm water run off, Class A recycled water is being added to slowly bring it back to being full. Apparently too much Class A water too quickly would be detrimental to the health of the lake. You can read of the details here.
It is suggested that evaporation of water at the lake is why it is empty. Nonsense, why would more water evaporate from Lake Wendouree than a similar body of water, such as our nearby Albert Park Lake? APL is dependant on rain and storm water run off without added water. It is brimming, or was until the Grand Prix organisation started to pump water out of it for their selfish use.
I ask you to revisit this post I wrote back in 2008. City of Ballarat states that the sponge like sediment has to be filled first before the lake will fill. I suggest that the reason the lake is dry is that so much water is being taken from the underground by water bores. Before the lake will fill, the area below, the sponge like sediment, and adjacent areas have to be saturated. That takes quite some time as the level of the water table needs to rise considerably. I have no proof of my theory, but so many lakes still empty after decent rain and some flooding rain surely this indicates the water is going somewhere, other than just filling lakes. It is replenishing depleted underground water, pumped out by all and sundry who can afford to sink a bore.
Who knows how much water is being taken from underground while our state government watches on.
Try this snip that came up as soon as I typed bore water Ballarat into googlie. I don't blame the caravan park. I blame our government for allowing it and not ensuring such a large city has a proper and sustainable water supply.
'Although we are in a drought BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park and Caravan Park uses bore water to keep the gardens green and our pool topped up! '