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Diversion Dam
- The Ord River -
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Lake Kununurra at sunset (left). The lake is also known locally as the Diversion Dam. The picture is taken from the Kona Lakeside Caravan Park.

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The diversion dam on the outskirts of Kununurra. The town was established in 1960 to serve the Ord River Irrigation Scheme.

Before the building of this dam and the Ord River Dam further upstream most of the water produced by the rains falling between December and March poured into the sea and was wasted. The diversion dam was completed in 1963, and the Ord River dam further upstream in 1972. Fishing below the diversion dam for barramundi (lates calcarifer) is a popular local activity.

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Because of the availability now of water all the year round, various crops have been tried in the land below the dam. At first cotton was grown but this failed to be economically viable because of pests and various plant diseases. Rice crops were eaten by the birds. More recently.the planting of fruit (melons, bananas, mangoes), pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, soya bean, chick peas, sunflower, and sugar cane has proved to be a better proposition. In fact the shire is now getting a return of around $65 million from agriculture around Kununurra.

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An irrigation channel in the lower Ord Valley.

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The Ivanhoe Crossing below the diversion dam is rather a misnomer at times during the year because floodwaters make the concrete causeway impassable. The waters below the diversion dam are also infested with saltwater crocodiles which ensures that any attempted crossing becomes doubly dangerous!

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