Dam lot of
HUME Dam, located 10km east of Albury, forms Hume Reservoir (also known as Lake Hume) which is the main supply storage and one of the two major headwater storages for the River Murray system.
The reservoir is made up of a concrete gravity dam and a series of earth embankments that impound the River Murray and the lower Mitta Mitta River.
The dam location means that flows from the upper Murray, Mitta Mitta (Dartmouth Reservoir is upstream of Hume on the Mitta Mitta River) and some water from the Snowy Scheme are regulated through Hume Reservoir.
The primary role of Hume Reservoir is to regulate and conserve water for both human consumption and the environment; its secondary roles include hydroelectric power generation and flood mitigation.
Hume Reservoir has also become an important recreation and tourist location.
The dam was built following a number of years of drought during the second half of the 1890s, culminating in a record dry year in 1902.
It was to provide a reliable year-round supply of water and assist the expansion of irrigation and settlement along the Murray.
A conference was held at Corowa in April 1902 to discuss the establishment of an irrigation scheme for the southern Riverina and northern Victoria and an Interstate Royal Commission on the River Murray recommended the construction of a storage on the Upper Murray at Cumberoona, upstream of the present dam site.
Between 1903 and 1913, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia attempted to arrive at a workable agreement on the regulation and sharing of River Murray waters and in November 1915, the River Murray Water Agreement was ratified by Acts of Parliament and passed simultaneously by the Commonwealth and the three states.
Hume Dam took 17 years to construct, its first filling was in December 1934 and it was officially opened on November 21 1936.
Hume Dam was constructed for the River Murray Commission by the New South Wales Department of Public Works and the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission of Victoria, as joint constructing authorities. At the time, the capacity of the completed reservoir was 1522 GL (at a full supply level of 182.9 m above sea level) but modifications between 1950 and 1961 enlarged the reservoir to its present capacity of 3005 GL (at full supply level of 192 m above sea level).