Summer tourists have lamented the condition of Green Hill Lake, with its water levels presently well below average.
Green Hill Lake has become a favourite site for tourists and Ararat residents to go swimming, fishing, and camping.
Warrnambool residents Carole and Wayne Russell frequently travel from Warrnambool to visit the lake, but this year were disappointed with their experience, leaving earlier than they had planned.
They said the water was too low and too "swampy" for them to go swimming, even temperatures soared.
Wayne Russell said he was amazed by how little water was in the lake.
"You could walk right across the lake (with the water) just up to waist deep," he said.
"Kids used to jump off the jetty into the water and now it's sitting on the dry."
"We probably won't go back because of the way it is, and we've been going there for years."
Carole Russell said visitor numbers had appeared to be dwindling as a consequence of the lake's condition.
"There's not as many (visitors) as previously due to there being no water," she said.
"There used to be ski boats on there and everything but not anymore.
"We go there all the time and it's just getting worse and worse."
However, Green Hill Lake Development Board treasurer and secretary Morris Allgood explained that the number of people at the lake constantly fluctuates.
"Since Christmas, we've had about 200 campsites at different times, but at the moment it's probably down to about 60 or 70," he said.
"On Australia Day it will probably spring up to about 150 or 200 campsites.
"It's a very popular place. I'm getting five or six calls a day about its condition: people wanting to come here and know how much water is in it, and what they are allowed to do and that sort of thing."
Yet Mr Allgood said the lake was a long way from full.
"The water levels are not normal," he said.
"There's only about 2'6" in it and when it's full there is about seven foot in it, so it's well down at the moment."
Mr Allgood said there was no clear solution to the problem.
"We've asked the council and we've also asked GWMWater for an allocation of water," he said.
"But I can understand why they won't do it. If GWMWater put water in it it would probably just evaporate because the area is so huge.
"At the moment we might be able to get water from Mt Cole, but that is used for other things like wineries, and there wouldn't be enough water in there to fill it anyhow."
A GWMWater spokesperson stated the water authority has little means of helping.
"Green Hill Lake is managed by Ararat Rural City Council and is reliant on its natural catchment to fill," they said.
"GWMWater has never supplied recreation water to Green Hill Lake and there is currently no infrastructure in place to do so."
Ararat Rural City Council stated it had not considered infrastructure to supply the lake with additional water because there was little water available.
The lake will therefore rely solely on rainfall to see it restored.
Mr Allgood said it will take a considerable deluge to see any significant change.
"It needs about four inches over two or three days to fill it," he said.
"If you get an inch of rain you hardly get any run off at all, it just sinks into the ground.
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