Why Pedder? Why Now?

Restoring Lake Pedder is an interdisciplinary, multi faceted project. Here you can view the various segments, facts and figures. 

Why Now?

Is it even possible to restore Lake Pedder? Will the power go off in Tasmania?

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restroation

The man-made present Pedder Impoundment is included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on the basis the original global icon will one day be restored. As outlined in Australia’s 2021 State of the Environment report, restoring Lake Pedder will be a symbol of hope to the world, that we can admit and repair past environmental mistakes to enhance biodiversity and build climate resilience. Australia can nominate a flagship project for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. With its global profile and known outcome of returning that magnificent pink quartzite beach; Lake Pedder it must be.


On average the past 10 years the Pedder Impoundment has contributed 57MW annually to the Gordon Scheme – Pedder is a storage Lake, gravity fed to the Gordon Impoundment where the power station is located. Since coming online the Cattle Hill and Granville Harbour wind farms produce 154% of Pedder. If the power from Pedder requires replacement, a small wind farm of 30-40 turbines will suffice, or suburban uptake of rooftop solar, or a concentrated effort on energy efficiency in Tasmanian homes.

Damn Dams

Two of the three dams impounding Pedder, the Edgar and Scotts Peak, are built on and adjacent to the Edgar fault line, making them “high risk”. Scotts Peak has had issues with leakage and slumping since construction. To alleviate the risk the dams pose in the event of an earthquake$24m and $50m respectively is to be spent on each starting in 2023. Alternative to the proposed works, Hydro can remove the risk, remove the dams and restore Lake Pedder, creating a new intergenerational legacy of restoration and exciting engineering task of dismantling redundant dams. They would join, they could even lead, a global push to remove barriers, to restore rivers and biodiversity for greater climate resilience.


When the original Lake Pedder was flooded, it was forecast thousands of people would flock to the new, larger and more accessible Impoundment. After the stabilisation of introduced trout fishing in the mid 1990’s, it was clear the tourism boom wasn;t coming. (TVS visitor stats, avg p/y; preflooding 1968-1972 50k+; Pedder Impoundment 1990’s 15k, global tourism boom 2016 19k) Subsequently both the TWWHA Tourism Master Plan and Derwent Valley Council have called for a re-think of tourism on the Gordon River Road. Post COVID and moving into the climate aware world of travel, restorative tourism in the future. Revive the region – restore Pedder. Given Pedder is already within the TWWHA boundaries it has protection from development and over commercialisation and the old Coronets walking track remains intact, limiting the footprint of new access. In addition the SW National Park and TWWHA qualify as a Dark Sky Sanctuary, the highest grade of dark sky protection. Declaring a dark sky sanctuary, utilizing Starthgordon as the node, leading into a restored Lake Pedder would put this region of Tasmania back on the global map.

‘All major features of the original beach and dune systems are intact … Accumulation of sediment over the original beach is slight, no more than a few millimeters’.

Professor Peter Tyler

‘We may reasonably expect that almost from Day 1, many of the best-loved scenes of Lake Pedder will again be on view … The lake basin itself is robust and almost certainly remains intact. Any intervention in the restorative process around the lake shore will have to be very carefully planned well in advance. The impact of two decades of ill-considered impoundment have been of little consequence to the landforms.’

Dr Kevin Kiernan, Geomorphological Report to Pedder Study Group, 1994

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