Kati Thanda (aka Lake Eyre)
The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the largest and most pristine desert river systems on the planet, supporting 60,000 people and a wealth of wildlife.
It’s a rarity in a world that has harnessed, tapped, pumped and dammed its rivers, sometimes, to death.
Residents say they’ve learnt to go with the flow even though, mostly, there is none.
When the water does come, you celebrate the moment, but you “don’t get greedy”.
This year, the water arrived in a way not seen for 45 years and, as mining exploration has locals worried, they are using the occasion to sound a warning.
This event is predicted to be the largest since 1974.
Water from the cyclonic floods of a month or so back. (Which in themselves killed more than half a million head of livestock.)Unlike Australia’s Murray-Darling, this system has no major irrigation, diversions or flood-plain developments.
Across the entire basin, people know this flood is just a moment in a boom and bust cycle.
In a few months’ time, the water will disappear. Seep into the ground and evaporate into the air.
Gone, but living on in the people, plants and animals that rely upon its life-giving force, and in the stories told and memories made each time these unique desert rivers run their course.
The following links to an excellent photo essay about the beginning of this phenomena.