The Snowy Hydro Scheme is widely regarded as the most ambitious industrial project in Australia’s history. Constructed between 1949 and 1972, the system diverts water from the Snowy, Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee Rivers westward via a series of tunnels, aqueducts and reservoirs, through the Great Dividing Range for use in irrigation throughout inland Australia. In the process the water is used by power stations to create hydro electricity. It’s often referred to as an engineering wonder of the world.
But, on the driest continent on Earth, the story of The Scheme is ultimately one about humans re-shaping the environment to solve one of our most basic needs – that of water preservation. A post-WW2 nation needed the vital resources in order to grow and to survive.
Because the Scheme is situated within the pristine Kosciusko National Park, this photographic series is primarily an exploration of the balance between nature and man’s intervention upon it – the vast structures amongst epic landscapes, the re-shaped waterways and the newly created ones. But The Scheme is also a framework for the exploration of various aspects of life in the region – recreational activities like skiing in winter and walking, boating and fishing in the warmer months; the local towns and residents; and also people directly connected to The Scheme.
All images and text © Chris Round
By Chris Round