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Lake Burrendong
Lake Burrendong.jpg
A picnic area by the lake.
Location Near Wellington, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 32°40′4″S 149°6′25″E / 32.66778°S 149.10694°E / -32.66778; 149.10694
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Macquarie River, Cudgegong River and Meroo Creek
Primary outflows Macquarie River
Catchment area 13,900 square kilometres (5,400 sq mi)
Basin countries Australia
Built 1967 (1967)
Max. length 1,113 metres (3,652 ft)
Surface area 8,900 hectares (22,000 acres)
Average depth 57 metres (187 ft)
Max. depth 344 metres (1,129 ft)
Water volume 6,345 cubic metres (224,100 cu ft)
Surface elevation 344 metres (1,129 ft) AMSL

The Burrendong Dam is a major dam on the Macquarie River in New South Wales, Australia. It is upriver of Wellington in the central west region. It is an embankment style gated dam. The wall is filled with rock and has a clay core. The dam was built and is used for flood mitigation, irrigation, water supply and hydro-electric power generation. The dam creates Lake Burrendong and is filled by the Macquarie and Cudgegong rivers and Meroo Creek.

The lake formed by the dam, named Lake Burrendong, is popular for fishing and general tourism.

History and location

The dam was built by the New South Wales Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission. Construction began in 1958. It finished in 1967. It was built to reduce flooding, for irrigation, and to supply a relatively constant water supply. The dam is about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southeast of Wellington in the Wellington Shire local government area. The name Burrendong comes from the Wiradjuri word for koala (burrandhang).


The dam wall is 76 metres (249 ft) high and is 1,116 metres (3,661 ft) long. Normal water depth is 57 metres (187 ft). When the dam is full the water level is 344 metres (1,129 ft) AHD. At full capacity the dam holds 1,188 gigalitres (4.20×1010 cu ft), with an additional flood mitigation capacity of 480,000 megalitres (17,000×10^6 cu ft), and has a surface area of 7,200 hectares (18,000 acres). The dam collects water from an area of 13,900 square kilometres (5,400 sq mi). The spillway on the dam is a gated concrete chute, able to release 13,720 cubic metres per second (485,000 cu ft/s).

A major upgrade took place place between 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2015. The project costs AU$32 million. It will ensure the dam reaches modern safety standards. During the upgrade the main dam will be raised 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in), the current spillway will be modified and another spillway added.

Power generation

The dam includes a hydro-electric power station. This was completed in August 1996. It was opened by the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, on 9 February 1999. The station can generate up to 19 megawatts (25,000 hp) of electricity and each year the power station generates about 50.9 gigawatt-hours (183 TJ). The station was originally operated by Power Facilities Pty Limited. It is now managed by AGL Energy.

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