The world's great river basins

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Book Chapter

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Hundloe, T., & White, A. (2012). The world's great river basins. In T. Hundloe & C. Crawford (Eds.), The Value of Water in a Drying Climate (pp. 39- 59). Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 050205

© Copyright Tor Hundloe and Christine Crawford, 2012





All of us live, work, and manage our affairs in what we call a nation or country. We expect to find rivers and river basins, if only the most meagre ones, in all countries. The tiniest amount of rain needs to drain somewhere - unless the soil or sand is so porous that it disappears without trace. Draining water forms a rivulet. A number of rivulets fed by the same rainfall combine to form a proto-catchment or rivulet basin. Australia is a country containing many significant river basins, one large and dominant, plus hundreds of smaller ones. Our challenge, and your challenge, is to imagine life in a river basin as life in an ecologically defined nation. Imagine you live in a catchment. You do your business in a catchment. Your government is formed by voters in the catchment. You trade with people in other catchments. Of course this is all hypothetical; yet imagine how much easier environmental management would be. No intra-catchment negotiations would be required.

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