Keepit Dam

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Keepit Dam
Lake Keepit.JPG
Vista of Lake Keepit at 100% capacity, 2012.
Keepit Dam is located in New South Wales
Keepit Dam
Location of Keepit Dam in
New South Wales
Country Australia
Location North West Slopes, New South Wales
Coordinates 30°52′54″S 150°30′04″E / 30.88167°S 150.50111°E / -30.88167; 150.50111Coordinates: 30°52′54″S 150°30′04″E / 30.88167°S 150.50111°E / -30.88167; 150.50111
Purpose Flood mitigation, hydro-power, irrigation, water supply and conservation
Status Operational
Construction began 1939 (1939)
Opening date 1960 (1960)
Owner(s) State Water Corporation
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity dam
Impounds Namoi River
Height 55 metres (180 ft)
Length 533 metres (1,749 ft)
Spillways 7
Spillway type Central gated overflow crest and six radial gates
Spillway capacity 10,480 cubic metres per second (370,000 cu ft/s)
Creates Lake Keepit
Total capacity 425,510 megalitres (15,027×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area 5,700 square kilometres (2,200 sq mi)
Surface area 4,370 hectares (10,800 acres)
Maximum water depth 48 metres (157 ft)
Normal elevation 329.6 metres (1,081 ft) AHD
Power station
Operator(s) Eraring Energy
Commission date 1960
Type Conventional
Turbines 1
Installed capacity 7.2 megawatts (9,700 hp)
Annual generation 10.2 gigawatt-hours (37 TJ)
Keepit Dam at

Keepit Dam is a major gated mass concrete gravity dam with an earth fill abutment and a central gated concrete overflow crest and six radial gate spillways across the Namoi River upstream of its junction with the Peel River in the North West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia. The dam's purpose includes flood mitigation, hydro-power, irrigation, water supply and conservation. The impounded reservoir is called Lake Keepit.

Location and features[edit]

Commenced in 1939, with construction halted during World War II, and completed in 1960, the Keepit Dam is a major dam on the Namoi River, located approximately 56 kilometres (35 mi) west of Tamworth and 39 kilometres (24 mi) north-east of Gunnedah, upstream of the confluence of the Namoi and Peel rivers. The dam was built by the New South Wales Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission to supply water for irrigation, flood mitigation and potable water for the town of Walgett.[1][2][3]

The dam wall height is 55 metres (180 ft) and is 533 metres (1,749 ft) long. The maximum water depth is 48 metres (157 ft) and at 100% capacity the dam wall holds back 425,510 megalitres (15,027×10^6 cu ft) of water at 329.6 metres (1,081 ft) AHD. The surface area of Lake Keepit is 4,370 hectares (10,800 acres) and the catchment area is 5,700 square kilometres (2,200 sq mi). The central gated overflow crest and six radial gates of the spillway are capable of discharging 10,480 cubic metres per second (370,000 cu ft/s).[1][2][3] An A$146.6 million upgrade of facilities commenced in 2009 and resulted in the construction of two spillways and three saddle dams, completed during 2011. A further upgrade is due to commence in 2014 for completion by 2016 that will involve raising the height of the main dam wall by 3.4 metres (11 ft) and enhancing post tension in the concrete section of the wall.[4][5]

Keepit Dam is operated in conjunction with Split Rock Dam. The two dams supply water requirements along much of the Namoi Valley, used for irrigation including cotton, cereal and wheat crops, lucerne, fodder and pasture, vegetables, vines, orchards and oil seeds.[1]

Power generation[edit]

Main article: Keepit Power Station

A hydro-electric power station generates up to 7.2 megawatts (9,700 hp)[6] of electricity from the flow of the water leaving Keepit Dam with an average output of 10.2 gigawatt-hours (37 TJ) per annum.[1] The station was completed in 1960 and upgraded in 1983. The facility is managed by Eraring Energy.[6]


The name Keepit originates after a riverside property called Keypit or Keepit, resumed for part of the storage area.[1] The word probably means 'keep it', a derogatory remark about the apparent worthlessness of the pastoral run.[7]


The area surrounding Lake Keepit is used for local recreation including camping, picnics, swimming, boating, sailing, water skiing[1] and fishing.[8] The lake is the location of one of the premier soaring sites in Australia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Keepit Dam" (PDF brochure). State Water Corporation. 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. The Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated. 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Keepit Dam". Water delivery: dams. State Water Corporation. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Keepit Dam Safety Upgrade" (PDF brochure). State Water Corporation. November 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Keepit upgrade". Projects: Dam safety upgrades. State Water Corporation. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Keepit". Generation Portfolio: Hydro Power Stations. Eraring Energy. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Keepit Dam". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Keepit Dam / Lake Keepit: Manilla, NSW". Sweetwater Fishing. Retrieved 13 November 2006. 

External links[edit]