06 September 2009
70 kilometers south of Kununurra in Western Australia lies a dam constructed without a speck of bitumen or concrete. There, the Ord River meets a barracade of rock, sand, and clay pulled from the nearby gorges to create one of the world's most efficient dams. The result is a body of water occupying over 1000 square kilometers. That's large enough to be classified as "open water," like the ocean, and also vast enough to generate its own cyclonic weather systems. They call it Lake Argyle. Beyond the dam, the Ord River slithers on through Kununurra and eventually meets the Indian Ocean.
Above, an image taken from Mirima National Park in Kununurra. Below, the river and gorge just after sunrise this morning, about 13 kilometers south of the town. The water is so clean that it can be cupped straight from the river.