The reservoir has the purpose of providing hydroelectric power, as well as water diversion to irrigation, town water supply, flood mitigation and environmental flows.
The dam wall is 114 meters high by 747 meters with the complex containing within it a hydroelectric power station. The entire reservoir is the second largest within the Snow Mountains Scheme with a surface area of around 44 square kilometers (Lake Eucumbene being the largest).
The dam has a spectacular spillway, a long concrete shute beside it.
The reservoir is very popular water sports location for water skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. As with all of the Snowy Mountain lakes, the reservoir is a good fishing spot and stocked with murray cod, golden perch and silver perch. Trout and other fish can occasional be found.
Accessible along the Snowy Mountains Highway, accommodation can be found in Tumut and also at the camping ground at Wereboldera at the northern end and at the Talbingo caravan park in the very south.