Paul Humphries reviews 'Flood Country' by Emily O’Gorman

Preparing for the worst

Paul Humphries reviews 'Flood Country' by Emily O’Gorman

Flood Country: An Environmental History of the Murray–Darling Basin

by Emily O’Gorman

CSIRO Publishing, $49.95 pb, 267 pp, 9780643101586

A friend and colleague from Europe visited in October 2010 for the first time in almost a decade. I had peppered him in the intervening years with emails bemoaning the long drought, the record heat, the lack of rain, the bushfires, the water restrictions, the young and old trees dying, the rivers ceasing to flow and finally drying altogether. I had described the harshness of the brown landscape devoid of vegetation, the ground cracked and all living things, terrestrial and aquatic, battling to survive. While his stories of European cold and snow reassured me that everywhere was not like here, I sensed a fearful note in his emails as his visit drew near. He was prepared for the worst.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Paul Humphries

Paul Humphries

Paul Humphries lectures in ecology and animal diversity and studies the ecology of rivers at Charles Sturt University. He has published many scientific papers, book chapters, history of science, and opinion pieces. He is co-editor of Ecology of Australian Freshwater Fishes (CSIRO Publishing, 2013) and a children’s picture book, Arnold Jeffrey/Jeffrey Arnold (Windy Hollows Books, 2017).

Published in April 2013 no. 350

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.