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[Public Domain] 25 Jan 2005 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Landscape
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The Murray River is two and a half thousand kilometers long from the Snowy mountains to the sea. There are thirteen dams along its length. Historically it was used by the Australian aboriginal people and then by colonists as a means of transportation with paddle-steamers mainly. The damming of the Murray River generates electricity and controls the level of water to reduce the impact of drought and flood, but also disrupts the natural boom-bust cycle of the land and the wildlife that depend on it. Natural wetlands across the flood-plains were drained, trees felled and paddocks denuded causing salinity and erosion. Conversely, the Murray has supported agricultural development for centuries despite the effects the agricultural practices causing serious damage to the River itself.
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