Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lake Wendouree

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! '


  1. Yeah, I wrote about the dire events that lead up to zero water seeminlgy overnight in Dimboola. Speaking to the local constabulary, he described it as having "been flowing one day and dry as a chip the next...it is like it dissapeared overnight!"
    Bore water...The Little Desert with all those olive trees.. yeah.

  2. Coupla things ...
    Olive trees in Little Desert
    Rioe west of the Riverina
    Cotton on Cubie Station (?sp)
    I can understand when Swannie says if you nominate a population target then growth slows, like a train coming into the platform, I guess. But too much is taken out of waterways, and below waterways.

    Second thing ...
    Why not blame the caravan park? I reckon we should blame the PB installers, too. I reckon we should blame the BER builders, too. Australians are greedy, and want to do the other bloke down.

  3. Rice west of the Riverina ... sorry

  4. Reminds me of the market gardeners in Werribee who were told to go onto recycled water (some of which burned some crops) to save the over-stretched aquifer yet nearby a new pool business was allowed to sink a new bore.

  5. Yuille's Swamp a.k.a Lake Wendouree, was never a lake, but is a swamp disguised as a lake.
    The surrounding parklands which used to naturally drain into it, no longer do, as a result of becoming housing estates ( 'Lake Gardens') with built-drains redirected into the Yarrowee Creek. Just another example of an idiot local council NOT Doing Their Homework before approving major works.

  6. You did indeed Cazzie. Locals really need to get active about this. Problem is I would guess is that there is a lot of wealth at stake.

    Tick to all of those Julie. Politicians are using all the spin they can muster to keep high population growth. The economy does grow with population growth, but it is not sustainable. Eventually there must be a limit. Pollies are lazy and they should be making Aus smarter etc etc.

    I suppose if one caravan park has a bore, competition dictates that the rest must too.

    That one slipped my mind Jayne, but yes, I recall it, and that cattle in feed lots feeding on grass irrigated from Werribee sewerage farm had to be checked carefully for tumors.

    Some relevant detail Ann. I am sure some of the older surrounding houses would have bores.