Waranga Basin

Water Storage Levels

Last Updated 16/08/2022
Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Current Volume 368348
% of Capacity 85.19
Capacity (ML) 432360

Recreational Facilities

Large Grassed Area Car Parking Boat Ramp Fishing Camping Playground Equipment BBQ - Woodfired Toilets

Facts & Figures

Name Waranga Basin
Stream Off-stream
Year of Completion 1915
Construction Earthfill
Full Supply Level 121.36 m AHD
Capacity 432,360 ML
Area Submerged 5,848 ha
Main Embankment Length 7,000 m
Main Embankment Height 12 m
Hydro-electric Generation MW

 About Waranga Basin

Sunset at Waranga Basin 

Waranga Basin is an important off-river storage, where water is diverted from the Goulburn River at Goulburn Weir, via the Stuart Murray Canal and Cattanach Canal.

The Basin also has a small catchment area of its own with a capacity of 432,360 ML and is one of the largest storages in the Goulburn System. 


Waranga Basin is located between the Goulburn and Campaspe River basins, approximately 8 km north-east of Rushworth.


The first stage of water storage commenced in 1905. The embankment was completed in 1908, using picks, shovels and horse drawn scoops, and at the time of construction was described as the largest project of its kind in the world, with an embankment height of 8.8m and a length of 7.0 km.

Between 1915 and 1921, the embankment was raised by 4.27 metres, and the puddle clay core wall and rock beaching was extended to the new crest level. The storage inundated the original Echuca and Waranga Trust channel that had been constructed to convey water from the Goulburn River to the Murray at Echuca.


The water stored in Waranga Basin supplies the Central Goulburn, Rochester and Pyramid-Boort irrigation areas across northern Victoria. Supplies to the Rochester and Pyramid-Boort areas occur via the 180 km long Waranga Western Channel.

The volume of water in store is mainly regulated. All discharges take place through channel outlets. The Major Outlet has a discharge capacity of 4,200 ML/day, and the Minor Outlet discharge capacity is 1,850 ML/day.

In the 2006/2007 Irrigation Season, the Goulburn System experienced the worst drought on record.  Water available to Goulburn-Murray Water customers was approximately half that available in the previous ‘worst' year which occurred in 2002/2003.

Normally, only about three-quarters of Waranga Basin's capacity of 432,360 ML can be used by gravity flow from the Basin's two outlets. In April 2009 as well as 2002, 2007 and 2008, Goulburn-Murray Water pumped up to 90,000 ML of water from below the normal minimum operating level in Waranga Basin to assist drought stricken farmers in the Goulburn Irrigation System. Pumping also occurred in 1926. The 2009 operation is estimated to have cost around $2 million. This project was a part of a range of measures Goulburn-Murray Water implemented to maximise the amount of water available for use in such a dry year.

Click here for a copy of the Waranga Basin Implementation Schedule, opens in a new window

Recreation and Tourism at Waranga Basin

Facilities Available

Large Grassed Area Large Grassed Area
Car Parking Car Parking
Boat Ramp Boat Ramp
Playground Equipment Playground Equipment
Fishing Fishing
Camping Camping
BBQ - Woodfired BBQ - Woodfired
Toilets Toilets
Please observe all signs and directions around our storages for information on recreational activities. Refer to the Land and On-Water Management Plan (if provided above) for detailed information on the facilities available.

Further Information

Waranga Basin was formed in 1905 on the site of a natural swamp near Tatura.  It is an off river storage largely filled by channelled water diverted from the Goulburn River at Goulburn Weir.

As one of the largest storages in Victoria , Waranga Basin is a very popular angling location.  Facilities along the foreshore include a caravan park and electric barbeques.  Conditions are also ideal for sailing and windsurfing.

Boats can be launched from a number of locations around the Waranga Basin.  Normal boating operations apply when water levels are at 114.38 mAHD and above.

Waranga Basin Recreational Guide and Map  

Waranga Basin Recreational Guide Cover

Waranga Basin Fact Sheet, opens in a new window