|Thomson River Dam|
|Opening date||May 1983|
|Dam and spillways|
|Catchment area||487 km²|
|Surface area||22.30 km²|
Despite opposition from conservationists and farmers, plans for the dam were originally approved in late December 1975 to provide Melbourne with water security. A dam on the Thomson river was preferred because the river had a large flow, high water quality and was elevated high enough to provide water to the upper Yarra system by gravity flow.
Early work in the early 1970s saw construction of a 19 km long tunnel through the Thomson Yarra divide to allow water from the Thomson River to flow into the Upper Yarra Reservoir. Work on the dam itself commenced in 1976 and the dam wall was ready to contain water by 1983.
The tunnel, which is located at the northern end of the reservoir, allows water to be transferred west to Upper Yarra Reservoir and then on to Silvan Reservoir for distribution as drinking water in Melbourne.
Since 1997, drought has resulted in depletion of much of the reservoir's water. 2006 in particular was a devastating year for Melbourne's water supply, where little rain and inflows resulted in a continuous drop in water levels. In early January 2006, the Thomson Dam was at 45.4%. While there were minor rises in water levels occasionally, the Thomson Dam reached its all-time low of 16.2% on 3 July 2009.
Heavy rainfall in 2010 and 2011 has increased Melbourne's water storages to levels not seen for ten years. The Thomson Dam entered winter 2011 at 39% full and by the end of 2011 had reached 54.4% full.
The last time the reservoir was full and spilling was in the spring of 1996.
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