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Om Flood Country
Floods in the Murray-Darling Basin are crucial sources of water for people, animals and plants in this often dry region of inland eastern Australia. Even so, floods have often been experienced as natural disasters, which have led to major engineering schemes. Flood Country explores the contested and complex history of this region, examining the different ways in which floods have been understood and managed and some of the long-term consequences for people, rivers and ecologies. The book examines many tensions, ranging from early exchanges between Aboriginal people and settlers about the dangers of floods, through to long running disputes between graziers and irrigators over damming floodwater, and conflicts between residents and colonial governments over whose responsibility it was to protect townships from floods. Flood Country brings the Murray-Darling Basin's flood history into conversation with contemporary national debates about climate change and competing access to water for livelihoods, industries and ecosystems. It provides an important new historical perspective on this significant region of Australia, exploring how people, rivers and floods have re-made each other.