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Water is scarce in the Lake Eyre Basin in the heart of Australia. The region goes through natural cycles of boom and bust, and the flooding of the basin rivers is accompanied by spectacular responses from wildlife and vegetation. However, the Lake Eyre Basin faces the threat of large-scale diversion of water from the rivers and wetlands for use in irrigation and mining. Around the world, such water resource developments have caused widespread degradation of rivers and loss of habitats.
Lake Eyre Basin Rivers outlines the environmental, social and economic values of the rivers from a diverse range of perspectives, including science, tourism, economy, engineering, policy, Traditional Owners and pastoralists. It describes the current state of the environment, the past and ongoing threats to the river systems, drawing on stories from the Murray-Darling Basin, and provides direction for ensuring that the rivers remain free-flowing to service the environment and future generations.\
This book is a valuable reference for environment and government agencies, industries and policy-makers concerned with the region and will be of interest to the communities of the Lake Eyre Basin.
Richard Kingsford is Professor of Environmental Science and the Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Australia. He has a background in freshwater science and conservation biology. He has a great passion for the people and environments of the Lake Eyre Basin, from his involvement in the region stretching back to the mid-1980s. He has served on many government committees concerned with the Lake Eyre Basin, including the Cooper Creek Catchment Committee, the Community Advisory Committee, the Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Panel and the Western Rivers Advisory Panel. He loves the rivers, their ecosystems, including the plants, animals and `invisible' organisms that make the place hum and, of course, the people of the Lake Eyre Basin.