The Grampians has always been looked on as the obvious source of water for North-western Victoria, as its rainfall is twice that of Horsham. The first water was diverted in the 1850's to supply Longrenong Run.
The first reservoir to be built was Wartook in 1887. Gradually a whole network of weirs, storages and channels was built throughout the Grampians. Rocklands Reservoir is the largest storage, completed in 1953, and Lake Bellfield the last, completed in 1966.
This network became the The Wimmera-Mallee Stock and Domestic Water Supply Scheme covering one eighth of Victoria. (16000km of channels, distributing water released from 12 storage reservoirs to 51 towns and villages and 22,000 farms.)
It is the largest gravity fed distribution system in the world. But evaporation and seepage losses are enormous, and after much debate over many years, the system is at long last in the process of being piped.
The Grampians with its many natural and man-made lakes, streams and rivers, provide wonderful opportunities for bird watching, both resident and migratory populations, as well as recreational fishing and boating.
Lake Wartook the first reservoir to be completed in the Grampians 1887 and is the source of Horsham's water supply. In recent years a new outlet tunnel has been built and the wall refaced with rock. It provides great opportunities for recreational activities, including wonderful fishing for redfin, trout and blackfish.
Cherrypool (on the Henty Highway) is a large pool on the Glenelg River upstream of Rocklands Reservoir. It is a lovely picnic area and provides great bird watching opportunities.
Rocklands Reservoir on the Glenelg River is one of the largest reservoirs in Victoria. An interesting drive is to leave the Henty Highway at Cherrypool and follow the signs to Rocklands through the Black Range. This area can be very good for wildflowers in the spring.
Green Lake, near Horsham, provides good water bird watching opportunities, where rare species may be sometimes seen and fishing for redfin and golden perch. Unfortunately it has been dry now for a number of years. Status: Dry
Moora Moora Reservoir in the Victoria Valley is great for canoeing. It is also the site of one of the early station runs.
Lake Bellfield near Halls Gap provides great vistas, fishing for redfin, blackfish and trout, and canoeing. Completed in 1966 it provides water for Halls Gap, Pomonal, and Stawell.
Lake Toolondo to the west of Wartook Gardens is well known as a great trout water and popular with fly fishermen. This lake has also been dry for the last 3 years. Status: Dry
Lake Lonsdale near Halls Gap has been dry for a number of years. Status: Dry
Lake Fyans near Halls Gap provide many recreational opportunities and at times good fishing.
The MacKenzie River always has a good flow over MacKenzie Falls and through the Grampians to where the channel goes off to Mt Zero as it is Horsham's Water supply. It provides opportunities for fishing redfin, blackfish and trout.