his is Water is a web-series exploring the human connection to water and land in far west NSW. The Darling River is the third longest river in Australia and supplies the Menindee Lake system, an ancient chain of lakes which has provided habitat for animals, birds, fish and people for tens of thousands of years. The Darling river connects the top tributaries of the Murray-Darling Basin, from Queensland through NSW, all the way to the mighty Murray river which continues the flow of water into Victoria and eventually out to sea in South Australia.
The Darling carries water across a vast tract of inland Australia, supplying towns with drinking water and irrigators with an income. The Darling river has been under threat from drought, a rapidly changing climate and the over-extraction of water resources.
The story of water in Australia is a critical window into the condition of our society: culturally, ecologically and politically. Our past behaviours and mismanagement have created deep suffering for communities along the river. The future vitality of all Australian communities will be largely informed by how we choose to relate to the great necessity that is water.
In this series we explore the vitality, history and energy of the people in the far west who are still connected to this endangered ecosystem. This film project aims to glean some clues about our past and our collective future by investigating the humanity that continues to thrive in this ancient place.
Epsiode 5: Save Our Lakes
Back to The Baaka
In March 2020 the town of Wilcannia experienced the first flow of water down the Darling-Baaka river in over three years. In this episode, community leader Brendon Adams discusses the connection between the land and its waterways and the health of the people in far western NSW.
The people of Wilcannia demonstrate how the cultural practices of the Barkindji are under threat from a collapsing ecology and the mismanagement of the river. In the weeks following the return of the river, town residents demonstrate the connection and the life that the entity of the Baaka gives to the community.
The Cod and The Economy
In January 2019 the town of Menindee found itself at the centre of an unfolding ecological disaster. Residents woke to hundreds of thousands of oxygen starved fish floating lifelessly on the surface of their Darling-Baaka River.