LAKE Keepit Sailing Club is in limbo after members turned up for their club championship, only to find themselves – in the words of one member – “standing there … just watching the water disappear”.
Keepit Dam has dropped so low it is now impossible to get on the lake, long-time members saying it’s the first time in at least 38 years that this has happened.
WaterNSW’s real-time data put the dam at 0.8 per cent and falling yesterday, with about 10GL still in storage after a loss of 7GL in a week.
Club commodore Ian Pine said it was “totally unexpected” that the water had become inaccessible, and it was a big blow to the club – not just in the short-term.
“We’ve always been able to get access to the water even when it’s very low,” he said.
“There’s a rock or gravel road that goes in under the water right down to the very low level.
“But the water has dropped as of [Sunday] … below that, so it ends up in mud.
“That made it basically impossible to launch and retrieve boats and set a course.”
Mr Pine said this meant the club would not be able to run its three-day courses during the school holidays.
“That’s a major thing we can’t even contemplate now,” he said.
“It is an income-earner but, more importantly, it’s a source of new members – and any sporting organisation is always looking for new members.”
Loma Ford, who has been a club member for about 10 years with husband Rodger, said it was “a very sad day”.
She said she’d seen the water level drop visibly within a few hours, as measured by a post in the dam.
“It had water around it at 8 o’clock when we arrived; and when we left about 2 or 3 o’clock, it just had mud around it, no water.”
The Fords have a 30-foot boat, and usually take a 16-footer out on low water, but have now “brought both boats home to the backyard and won’t be going out until it’s at least 5-10 per cent”.
The distance and fuel cost made it unviable to go to another of the region’s dams.
“It’s an absolute crying shame to see it going that low.”