NBN News reports that as the drought drops levels at Lake Keepit dam in the Gunnedah Shire (NSW) to 8%, grave markers from a 160 years ago are being exposed.
More graves from the old Huntsgrove Homestead could be revealed if the dam continues to drop.
Nearby Reflections Holiday Park says it’s been something of a morbid boost to tourism, with a number of people coming to take a look.
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.
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 (15,027×106 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). 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.
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.