The Big Dry - Rivers and Drought in Australia: Background information when reading The Dry

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The Dry

by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper
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  • Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Claire McAlpine

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Beyond the Book:
The Big Dry - Rivers and Drought in Australia

Laanacoorie Reservoir GirlThe Big Dry was a nine-year drought experienced in Southeastern Australia from 2003 to 2012. The region suffered the most severe dry period in recorded history and assumptions made by early pioneering colonists – that there would always be wet periods in these lands – began to be questioned. The alternative, that there might be long, significant periods of hot, dry weather was taken more seriously, and the consequences studied for how the population, the ecosystem and the agricultural industry could sustainably survive under such conditions.

The drought caused serious water shortages in many rural and metropolitan areas, significant agricultural losses, deaths of animals and the loss of a way of life for many farmers. It also dried out one of two of Australia's major river systems with subsequent far-reaching damage to the interconnected ecosystem that depended on those sources. Many animals live in and around Australia's rivers. Fish, frogs, crayfish, mussels, ...

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