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Low river at Waikerie
Title : Low river at Waikerie Low river at Waikerie
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Place Of Creation : Waikerie
Date of creation : 1914
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Low River at Waikerie with the river bed exposed, only a few pools of water, and a farmer with horses and cart

Low water on the River Murray at the end of summer or during droughts meant the paddle steamers could not move on the river: many were stranded upstream sometimes for several years during droughts. With the advent of the irrigation colonies from the late 1880s there was a further demand for a constant and reliable water supply. After many years of arguing regarding the river the states finally signed an agreement in 1915 which would allow the erection of locks and weirs along the river to regulate the flow of water. Work on the first lock at Blanchetown began in 1915 but was not completed until 1922 due to World War I. The remaining locks were completed by 1935, by which time the river boat trade was already in decline. Water levels still need to be maintained for irrigation, the demand for which continued to increase.

Coverage year : 1914
Place : Waikerie
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

River Murray Commission (Australia) R.M.C.:Harnessing Australia's greatest river: the work of the River Murray Commission / compiled by A.F. Ronalds. Melbourne: the Commission, 1950

Harnessing Australia's greatest river: details of the great scheme undertaken by the governments of the Commonwealth of Australia, and of the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Melbourne: The Standard, 1920

Linn, Rob Murray water is thicker than blood: the stories of the families who made the River Murray's locks and barrages Waikerie, S. Aust: Historical Consultants for River Murray Locks & Barrages Reunion Committee, 2001

Nunn, Jean History of Waikerie: gateway to the Riverland [Waikerie, S. Aust.]: Waikerie Historical Society, 1994

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