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Flood Country

FCcoverFlood Country: An Environmental History of the Murray-Darling Basin was published by CSIRO Publishing in 2012.

From the blurb:
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.


“… an excellent environmental history…” – Dr. Gary Presland, Historical Records of Australian Science

“… an important gap in Australian history has been filled…” – Dr. Paul Humphries, Australian Book Review

“…the author engages the reader with elegant writing and a well-explained structure. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the author writing ‘Drought Country: An environmental history of the Murray-Darling Basin’ as an essential companion to this publication…”  – Dr. Anna Lukasiewicz, Rural Society Journal

“Her scholarly analysis of ‘what is’ and ‘what was’ provides an insightful account of the issues in play” – Dr. Arthur Lucas, Australian Studies

“… the book presents an interesting and detailed examination of human-environmental interactions in the Murray-Darling basin…” – Dr. Neil McDonald, Environment and History