Snowy River

Snowy River

Geobox | River
name = Snowy
other_name =
other_name1 =
other_name2 =
other_name3 =
other_name4 =
other_name5 =
category =

image_caption = The Snowy River below McKillops Bridge
etymology =
nickname = "The Snowy"
country = Australia
country1 =
country2 =
country3 =
country4 =

state = Victoria
region = Central Victoria
district =
commune =
municipality =
parent =
tributary_left = Mowamba River
tributary_left1 = Maclaughlin River
tributary_left2 = Jacobs River
tributary_left3 = Deddick River
tributary_left4 = Rodger River
tributary_right = Delegate River
tributary_right1 = Wullwye Creek
tributary_right2 = Pinch River
tributary_right3 = Buchan River
tributary_right4 = Brodribb River
city = Jindabyne (NSW), Orbost (Vic), Marlo (Vic)
landmark =
source = Australian Alps
source_location = Great Dividing Range
source_region =
source_country =
source_elevation = 2200
source_lat_d =
source_lat_m =
source_lat_s =
source_lat_NS =
source_long_d =
source_long_m =
source_long_s =
source_long_EW =
mouth =
mouth_location = Marlo
mouth_country = Australia
mouth_elevation = 0
mouth_lat_d =
mouth_long_d =
length = 352
length_note =
length_round = +1
width =
depth =
watershed = 15779
watershed_note = approx.
watershed_round = +1
discharge = 18291
discharge_round = +1
discharge_location = mouth
free =

map_caption =
map_locator =
commons =
statistics =
website =
footnotes =
:"The Snowy River is also the name of a river in the South Island of New Zealand.":"For the cave complex in New Mexico, USA, see Snowy River Cave."The Snowy River is a major river in south-eastern Australia. The Snowy River drains the eastern slopes of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. The main branch rises on the slopes of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest peak.


The main headwaters, the Snowy, the Eucumbene River and the Thredbo River (formerly known as the "Crackenback River") meet near Jindabyne and winds 352 Km southwards through inaccessible country, including the Snowy River National Park, eventually reaching the sea at Marlo, near Orbost, Victoria.

In New South Wales, the river runs through the Snowy River Shire. Tributaries of the Snowy River include the Mowamba River, Wullwye Creek, Maclaughlin, Delegate, Jacobs, Pinch, Deddick, Buchan, Rodger and Brodribb rivers.

Jennings and Mabbutt (1986) [ [Jennings and Mabutt (1986) Physiographic outlines and regions. In Jeans D. N. (Eds), Australia- A Geography. The Natural Environment, Vol 1. Sydney University Press Australia.] ] mapped four geomorphic classes in the Snowy River Basin; (i) Australian Alps; (ii) the Monaro Tablelands; (iii) the East Victorian Uplands and (iv) the Gippsland Plains. Each class is physically distinct from one another, and they are further described by Erskine et al. (1999). [ [Erskine, W. D., Terrazolo, N. and Warner, R. F. 1999. River rehabilitation from the hydrogeomorphic impacts of a large hydro-electric power project: Snowy River, Australia. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management, 15, 3-24.] ]

The Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam contains four major waterfalls; (i) Stone Bridge Falls; (ii) Corrowong Falls; (iii) Snowy Falls and (iv) Pinch Falls (Gilligan and Williams 2008). [ [Gilligan, D. and Williams, S. (2008). Changes in fish assemblages after the first flow releases to the Snowy River downstream of Jindabyne Dam. Snowy River Recovery: Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring, NSW Department of Water and Energy.] ]


The general distribution of rainfall over the Snowy River catchment is controlled by orographic effects. There is a strong rainfall gradient across the catchment. Average annual rainfall range from 1,800 mm over areas above 1,500m in the Alps of the north western corner of the catchment to below 500 mm along the rain shadow effected north eastern catchment around Dalgety. High rainfalls in winter and spring combine with the spring snow melt to produce the highest average stream flow in the months from June to November, with October having the largest monthly flows of the year.

nowy Mountains Scheme

The Snowy River originally had a huge flow from the spring snow-melt which flowed directly into the sea. In the 1950s, as part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a network of dams was built to collect and divert 99% of the Snowy River's flow through the mountains, to provide more water to the Murray River and Murrumbidgee River for irrigation and to generate electricity.

During the 1990s the low level of water in the Snowy River was a major environmental concern in Victoria, with a political campaign to increase the water from one per cent to 28 per cent of its original flow from the dam at Jindabyne. An independent candidate from the East Gippsland district, Craig Ingram, was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1999, re-elected in 2002 and 2006, on a platform to increase the flow of water in the Snowy River.

Ingram Uses Casting Vote to Corporatise Snowy Scheme

However, after Ingram was elected to office, he was instrumental in the corporatisation of the Snowy Scheme, swinging the Victorian Parliament to sign the legislation. Although governments promised that corporatisation would not lead to privatisation, by November 2005 the Victorian, NSW and Commonwealth Governments made their intentions clear that they would sell the Snowy Scheme through a public float. The Australian people rallied in a Public Fight to Stop the Sale of Snowy Hydro and by June 2006 the Australian Prime Minister withdrew the Commonwealth's intention to sell Snowy Hydro.

Community advocates and former Snowy Scheme senior management and employees continue to block moves by the incumbent CEO for Snowy Hydro Terry Charlton to sell or lease the Snowy Scheme two years after governments promised not to sell the Snowy .

Cultural references

The rugged beauty of the "Snowy River" was immortalised in the 'Banjo' Paterson poem "The Man from Snowy River", first published in 1890. The Snowy River has also been immortalised in a 1920 "The Man from Snowy River" silent film, as well as in the better-known 1982 film "The Man from Snowy River" and its 1988 sequel film "The Man from Snowy River II" (US title: "Return to Snowy River" — UK title: "The Untamed"), as well as in the "The Man from Snowy River (TV series)" and "", all of which were based on the Banjo Paterson's poem.

ee also

*List of rivers of Australia


Bevitt, R. and Jones H. (2008). Water quality in the Snowy River before and after the first environmental flow release from the Mowamba River. Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring. NSW Department of Water and Energy. Sydney, NSW.

Bowling, L., Acaba, Z. and Whalley, P. (1993) Water quality in the Snowy River catchment area, 1992/93. Technical Services Division, NSW Department of Water Resources, December 1993.

Brizga, S. O. and Finlayson, B. L. 1992. The Snowy River sediment study: investigation into the distribution, transport and sources of sand in the Snowy River between Lake Jindabyne and Jarrahmond. Department of Water Resources Victoria Report No. 81.

Brooks, A., Russell, M. and Bevitt, R. (2007). Response to aquatic macroinvertebrates to the first environmental flow regime in the Snowy River. Snowy River Recovery: Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring, NSW Department of Water and Energy.

Haeusler, T and Bevitt, R. (2007). Hydraulic modelling of a fish barrier – Pinch Falls, Snowy River. Snowy River Recovery: Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring, NSW Department of Water and Energy.

Jennings, J.N. and Mabbutt, J. A. (1986). Physiographic outlines and regions. In Jeans D. N. (Eds), Australia- A Geography. The Natural Environment, Vol 1. Sydney University Press Australia. Marchant R. and Hehir G. (2002). The use of AUSRIVAS predictive models to assess the response of lotic macroinvertebrates to dams in south-east Australia. Freshwater Biology 47, 1033-1050.

Pendlebury, P., Erskine, W., Lake, S., Brown, P., Banks, J., Pulsford, I. and Nixon, J. (1996) Expert Panel environmental flow assessment of the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam. NSW Government.

Reinfelds I. and Williams, S. (2008). Hydraulic modelling to estimate threshold discharges for sediment entrainment in the Snowy River, Australia. Snowy River Recovery: Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring, NSW Department of Water and Energy.

Russell, M., Brooks, A. and Williams, S. (2008). Impact of the 2002-03 wildfires on the macroinvertebrate assemblages of the Snowy River catchment. Snowy River Recovery: Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring, NSW Department of Water and Energy.

Seddon, G. S. 1999. Saving the throwaway river. Australian Geographical Studies, 37(3), 314-321.

Turner, L. and Erskine, W. D. (2005) Variability in the development, persistence and breakdown of thermal, oxygen and salt stratification on regulated rivers of Southeastern Australia. River Res. Applic. 21: 151–168.

External links

* [ Snowy River Alliance]
* [ Snowy River Flow Response Monitoring and Modelling]

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