floods

Australian Cities Timeline

Australian Cities Timeline

Screenshot of the Timeline for Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880-2010s

 

Sydney: Dam Water, Filth to the Ocean

Sydney: Dam Water, Filth to the Ocean

In this chapter of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s,” the authors describe how the city of Sydney, New South Wales, has pursued the dual goals of plentiful water and cheap sanitation through the construction of the massive Warragamba Dam and ocean outfall sewers. Sewage polluting Sydney’s iconic beaches saw large protests in the 1980s and 1990s and closer monitoring of the ocean outfalls. Householders successfully curtailed their water consumption during the Millennium Drought, but as soon as dam levels rose again, water restrictions were abandoned because water retailers gain financially from higher consumption.

Perth: Water Beneath the City

Perth: Water Beneath the City

In this chapter of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s,” the authors show the extent to which the people of Perth, Western Australia, have relied on the groundwater of the Swan Coastal Plain, and the implications of this reliance in a drying climate. In the context of private and public extraction of groundwater, the government in 2014 commenced a groundwater replenishment scheme to “recharge” the local aquifers with treated wastewater.

Melbourne: DIY Infrastructure

Melbourne: DIY Infrastructure

In this chapter of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s,” the authors describe the ways in which infrastructure failed to keep pace with population growth in Melbourne, Victoria, and how residents developed their own means to overcome deficiencies. Residents of the postwar suburban frontier installed septic tanks and pan toilets, joined together to lay stormwater drains to improve the health and amenity of their local streets.

Introduction

Introduction

This is the introductory page of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s”—written and curated by Andrea Gaynor et al.

Adelaide: Restricted Development

Adelaide: Restricted Development

In this chapter of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s,” the authors describe how the city of Adelaide has responded to periodic water shortages. Water security was sought first in reservoirs, then the Murray River, and more recently desalination. While earlier periods of shortage led to the development of the dual-flush toilet, the need for water conservation was only really cemented in the urban consciousness with the Millennium drought of 1996–2010.

Brisbane: Dams and the Subtropical Challenge

Brisbane: Dams and the Subtropical Challenge

In this chapter of the virtual exhibition “Drought, Mud, Filth, and Flood: Water Crises in Australian Cities, 1880s–2010s,” the authors show how the development of Brisbane, Queensland, on a floodplain rendered the city vulnerable to flood events. Although engineering measures have mitigated floods, this overview highlights the enduring belief in urban “flood-proofing” alongside evidence that it cannot ever be achieved in this context.

Further Reading

Further Reading

Adelaide