Cotter River is a fresh water river in the Australian Capital Territory. It is a tributary of
River and part of Murray-Darling Basin.
River is one of two rivers—the Queanbeyan River is the other—that
meet the water supply needs of the
Canberra and Queanbeyan region.
The river is named after a colonial
convict Garrett Cotter
settled and had a very long and continued association with the
Cotter River region in the mid 19th century.
When the Government surveyor, Charles
, recommended Canberra as the best site for
Australia's national capital, water
was a significant consideration. Of the total of the
Australian Capital Territory, were reserved as the catchment area
Cotter River. The catchment area was calculated to support a
planned population of 100,000.
three reservoirs on the river, the Corin, Bendora and Cotter Dams
which supply water to Canberra.
the Cotter catchment is in the Namadgi National Park.
- Cotter Dam is a concrete gravity dam built in 1912 when the
Canberra was established. The height of the dam wall was raised
in 1951 to increase capacity. The top water level of the dam is
500.69m above sea level. The dam has a capacity of 3,856 million
litres; a review in October 2006 using more accurate mapping
methods resulted in capacity being re-estimated downwards from the
previous estimate of 4,700 million litres. Water was pumped from
the dam to Mount
Stromlo and from there the water flowed by gravity to fill
the city's reservoirs. The dam water quality had
deteriorated compared with Bendora and Corin dams and the dam was
only used when water is in short supply. However, in December
2004, ActewAGL brought the
dam back on line in response to the ongoing drought.
Dam, a double curvature concrete arch dam completed in
1961. It has a capacity of 11,540 million litres.
- Corin Dam, an earth and rockfill embankment dam with a capacity of 70,900
million litres. This dam which was completed in 1967 is situated
upstream of the Bendora Dam and controls the release of water into
Corin Dam from west
As part of a suite of potential options for increasing water
storage capacity in the ACT, a plan has been proposed to increase
capacity of the Cotter Dam through the construction of a new 76m
high dam wall downstream of the existing Cotter Dam, which would
inundate the existing 26m dam wall. This would increase storage
capacity of the Cotter Dam from the current 4.7GL to 78GL.
Cotter River picnic area
Although waters of the Cotter Dam itself, or other dams in the
Cotter Catchment, are not able to be utilised for recreation, just
past the dam on the Cotter River are a number of popular picnic
areas on the river bank. These areas are
generally equipped with limited barbecue
facilities and tables. There are a number of areas that are
suitable for swimming when there is sufficient water flowing in the
river. There is also a short term camping site which can
accommodate a very limited number of caravans and tents.
The Cotter Road, ACT tourist route 5, begins as a side road off
Adelaide Avenue in the suburb of Deakin. The scenic drive stretches
17.6 km from the centre of Canberra past the suburbs of Curtin,
Holder and Duffy, in between Stromlo Forest and Narrabundah Hill
Pine Plantation, and past Casuarina Sands into the Cotter Avenue
river area. "The Cotter" and the adjoining 7.1 km winding
Brindabella Road (the beginning of "The Loop") are well known to
motorcyclists, many of whom ride there in the evening after work or
on weekends. The Cotter Hotel, which stood near the children's
swings alongside the river, was burned down in the 2003 bushfires
. It was a well known
location for motorcyclists to meet on weekend mornings.