The Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme

The Snowy Scheme is Australia’s largest ever engineering project as well as being one of the world’s most complex.

Located in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales it was begun in 1949 and completed in 1974 and it was a source of work for many post war refugees. According to there are 16 dams, 7 power stations, 1 pumping station and 225kms of pipelines, tunnels and aqueducts yet only 2% of construction is visible above ground. It covers an area of 5124 square kilometres.

In summary, it collects snow melt from the region and diverts most of it away from the east flowing Snowy River through power stations to generate electricity then into the west flowing Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers to provide additional water for the major agricultural regions of southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Approximately 100,000 people from 30 countries worked on the Snowy Scheme for many it was the beginning of a new life as an Australian.

Murray One Power Station, Khancoban

Many thanks to Leland Olson Hoel of My Mixed Blog at for prompting this post.


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