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The River Murray, Australia

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1. Introduction

The river Murray is one of the largest river in Australia and also known as The Mighty River and Murray Darling the name of the basin is derived from its two major rivers, the Murray River and the Darling River. River Murray had been in Australia for thousands of years and it is the biggest river in Australia, there are many activities that happened along the river side for many years and the impact of human to the river is very big. It is a major source of domestic water for 1.25 million people. Hydro-electricity generated from the River and supplies electricity for Victoria and New South Wales; but the water of the river is getting more polluted meanwhile the Murray valley is becoming well known for its tourism.

2. Geographical location

The Murray Darling river pass through Australia and because of its length as the total 2.341 miles and Murray river pass through Corryong, Albury-Wodonga, Echuca, Moama and Swan Hill. It content: 85 species of mammals, with 20 extinct and 16 endangered, 53 species of frogs, with none endangered, 46 species of snakes, with 5 endangered, 5 species of tortoises, with none endangered, and 34 species of fish, with none endangered. Total water flow in the Murray-Darling in the period in 1885 is average 24,000 gigalitres per year. Estimated total annual flows for the river range from 5,000 gigalitres and in 1902 to 57,000 gigalitres in 1956 and average rainfall = 480 mm/year = 508,000 GL/year

3. History

It is thought that the Murray Darling River was formed about 60 million years ago. The Murray Darling region is full of fascinating history 40 thousand years ago, through to the more recent times of early European settlement. The history of the Murray River in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the Murray River became an important transportation route to carry goods to and from Melbourne. Between 2.5 and 0.5 million years ago the Murray River end and form freshwater lake that called Lake Bungunia. Discovered by European explorers Hamilton H. Hume and William H. Hovell in 1824. The river also the start of many species of animal in Australia for example: emus, koala bears, Western Grey kangaroos, Bearded Dragon lizards, red-rumped parrots, black swans, pelicans, and dolphins. For many years in history the Murray Darling river help people co carry wood, wheat, and facilities up and down the river the first trips being made by two boats from South Australia. In 1919 a dam that name Hume Dam had been build and the dam had change the entire river. Hume Dam is located in the downstream of the Murray River and Mitta Mitta River 16 kilometers east of Albury-Wodonga the dam is 2,225 km from the Murray mouth at Goolwa.

4. Impact of human use

The industrial and domestic needs for water have meant that regulation and control of the river's natural flow that effect the plant and animal that depend on the river. The use of locks and dams interrupted the river flow and restrict water in some area that needed, while other areas receive more water than they normally would in a heavy rainfall or flooded. This has affected the breeding cycles of animals and plants depend on the river.

The river system is now in a serious problem with salinity. This problem is blame for agriculture because of the fertilizer, chemical and pesticide runoff that put into the water then increase the amount of salt flow into the water, it is also blame for lower productivity such as the poor water quality and flooding. It is estimated that salinity costs the users of the Murray River $47 million each year to filter the water for usage.

Dame use in river had changed the entire river and life along the river side. Hume Dame had limited the amount of water flow and extremely lowers the water level. The lower water level makes agricultural decrease its productivity and salinity is increase because that water level is too low so it can't dilute the water. Because of the salinity so animal and plant had a very big impact and at the Murray mouth at Goolwa, it had been found that the water is just like sea water because of its pollution. And because of these effects, its affect the water use of people and affect the people's who use water from the river as water resource.


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