Showing posts with the label Cotter Dam

Book review: The Water Dreamers by Michael Cathcart

For all Australians, a great non-fiction book about our attitude to water, starting with polluting the Tank Stream at Sydney Cove to destruction and moving on to our overuse of the Murray Darling Basin. A very readable book about the rivers, lakes and inland seas that we don't have, the effort that went into looking for them, and the wet-country mindsets and attitudes of the white explorers. It was interesting to read about Griffith Taylor, geographer, who was essentially run out of the country for insisting that the inland was dry and nothing could be done about it — this was regarded as unpatriotic back in the nineteen twenties, and probably still is. He offended Western Australians by creating a map with a large piece of their state marked as 'Useless'. Echoes of John Wesley Powell, who is also reputed to have said, on seeing the Grand Canyon in Arizona, 'Impressive, but useless', and who, similarly, warned against irrigation in the American arid West.