Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Goyder Line

The state of South Australia's Surveyor General rode 3200 kilometres on horse back over a period of two months in 1865 to survey a line where he judged that north of the line, agriculture and farming would not be sustainable, whereas south of the line, it would be. His line was based on vegetation and apparent rainfall. Subsequent good rains that same year attracted farmers to the north of the line against his advice. They planted crops and started farms. Map courtesy ABC SA.


While 'having the last laugh' may not be the appropriate expression, Goyder proved to be correct and if you travel about north of his line, you will find abandoned farms, remaining chimneys of fallen down houses and whole townships abandoned.

Jump forward to 2016 and Goyder's Line may be needed to be moved somewhat south. Nothing to do with climate change though, of course.

15 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    And no, nothing whatsoever to do with climate change.

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    1. No EC, nothing at all to do with climate change.

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  2. Such a different state to Victoria (and the rest of Australia - climate, landscape, way of living, attitude of the people.
    Yes there is a definite 'line' there to be seen. Those abandoned homesteads are spooky and you wonder what happened to the owners. We lived there for several years during the '90s, traveled about the state and missed our garden state so much.

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    1. And crops were failing not too far away from Adelaide then.

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    2. Cathy, climate and landscape, I agree with you. The people, I dunno. You have lived there, so you would know better.

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  3. what a long distance amazing it means from Bytom to Granada Spain

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    1. Gosia, I guess it would be. Distances are long in Australia.

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  4. We should have lines like that. Pumping ground water dry and taking everything from rivers has been agricultural norm, planting water thirsty crops in desert landscapes, not a bright thing to do, a greedy thing to do. We do it in Oregon and California does it too.

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    1. Yes Strayer, the California oranges that appear in our supermarkets are not grown on naturally sustainable land. Depleting water tables is way wrong.

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  5. Interesting is the 'line'.
    Some of the towns/areas in Australia because of drought shouldn't have farms on them. Here we have starving cattle due to drought, but the farmers always hoping for rain. In some areas here you don't often see the hills green even in winter, always been the same since I can remember.

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    1. Margaret, in Tassie you are in drought? The east coast of Tasmania doesn't get good rainfall, does it?

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  6. Hey! You put me on the map! :)
    I agree with the goyder line needing to be moved south and of course climate change is the problem.
    Another solution would be to build dams and pipelines from Queensland's flood areas to the dry areas here and in other states. Anyone in Politics reading this?

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    1. River, putting you on the map could be judged as me being ingratiating or just a bit of fun.

      I go more for desal plants to supply fresh water, but they are not without their problems.

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  7. I suppose that it does vary from one year to the next, but there is no denying the trend, and it's not good. I still say thatlong term, water is the new oil and that us here in Scotland where we are typically awash with the stuff, should invest in huge tankers or expensive pipelines.

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    1. Craig, I think many places will invest in desalination plants as we have here in Australia, but they do require a lot of energy to run.

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