Copeton Dam is one of the largest inland dams in NSW with a capacity of 1,364,000 megalitres of water. The construction of the dam was initiated to provide more reliable town water supplies and to boost agricultural production through the provision of river irrigation water in the Gwydir Valley. It provides reliable town water for Inverell via a pipeline and other towns downstream, including Bingara, Gravesend and Weemelah.
Copeton Dam has a active release capacity of 11,000 megaltires per day but the spill way is designed to allow for 1,280,000 mealtires if
In 2013 dam safety upgrades have also required the construction of fuse plugs, which divert floodwaters around the dam in an extreme rainfall event to protect the dam infrastructure .
In addition to securing urban water supply and improving irrigation potential in the valley, Copeton Dam is a popular recreational location
offering sailing, windsurfing, boating, water skiing, fishing and swimming.
Image source: WaterNSW