Thirlmere Lakes water monitoring

The water monitoring system at Thirlmere Lakes is part of an ongoing program that collects data on rainfall and water levels in the lakes.

Green reeds surrounding a body of water at Lake Nerrigorang with bush in the background. The white pipe of a piezometer, or shallow ground bore, extends vertically out of the water towards the centre of the photo.A water monitoring system, funded with $200,000 from the NSW Government, was installed in 2013 in response to community concerns about a possible link between low water levels in the lakes and mining. Water levels have been monitored since then.

The monitoring system is managed by WaterNSW to provide publicly available near real-time information on lake water levels, groundwater levels and local meteorological (weather) information for each of the 5 Thirlmere Lakes and Blue Gum Creek, which is a creek that connects to the lakes when they are full.

An inter-agency working group, which was led by the former OEH and included scientists from the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, the former OEH, the Office of Water and the then Sydney Catchment Authority, oversaw the establishment of a monitoring program for Thirlmere Lakes. This working group now involves scientists from the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formerly OEH), the Department of Industry, Lands and Water, and WaterNSW, and is overseeing the Thirlmere Lakes Research Program.

Real-time data

Near real-time data is available for the water level in each of the 5 lakes in Thirlmere Lakes National Park and Blue Gum Creek. Rainfall data is available from a gauge located about 5 kilometres north of Thirlmere Lakes.

Click on a marker on the map to access real-time data for each monitoring site.

Thirlmere Lakes water levels: December 2013 – May 2020

These graphs, derived from WaterNSW data and SILO, show water levels for each of the Thirlmere Lakes and Blue Gum Creek from December 2013 to May 2020. Water levels are plotted against daily rainfall and the cumulative rainfall departure. The cumulative rainfall departure is a method for calculating how daily rainfall rates differ or depart from long-term average daily rainfall rates. In this case, the average daily rainfall was calculated from the daily average rainfall since 1889.

Graphs showing Thirlmere Lakes water levels (December 2013 - May 2020)