The iconic Snowy River has been immortalised through Australian folk lore and film – the poem Man from Snowy River captured our imagination in 1890, and up until the mid-20th century the Snowy remained notable for its rapids, large reach and high volume of fresh water.
However, the Snowy was dammed at Jindabyne in 1967 for electricity generation as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. The headwaters of the river were turned around to flow inland instead of to the sea, and an insidious decline began:
2002 brought new hope for the Snowy when the Premiers of Victoria and NSW agreed to restore flows to the river. However progress has been painfully slow and most of the river’s water still goes through Snowy Hydro’s turbines and inland for irrigation purposes. The Snowy Water Licence needs to be repealed, rewritten and placed in the hands of an independent authority to ensure the environmental flows are implemented..
People who love and depend on the Snowy River have many memories and insights to share.