chichester-dam-drought-1960s-3 chichester-dam-drought-1960s chichester-dam-drought-1960s-2

Drought takes its toll on dam levels

The unrelenting drought of 1964-65 markedly reduced the quantity of water stored in the Board's sources.

In 1965, Newcastle recorded 525 millimetres of rainfall - the lowest recorded in the history of the Board. Chichester Dam catchment recorded 550 millimetres while Tomago Sandbeds recorded 4oo millimetres - less rain than in any year since these sources were brought into operation.

Dam levels dropped dramatically. Chichester Dam's water storage level dropped 12.5 metres below the top of the spillway.

Prevailing drought conditions over the three main catchment areas of Chichester and Grahamstown Dams and Tomago Sandbeds made it imperative for the Board to impose water restrictions.