The Australian desert fringe has been greened like no other. It is now a place of extraordinary agricultural development, with generally productive low-input farming. On a continent with so little higher rainfall country this region has been able to make a substantial contribution to the national economy. Long desert boundaries on other continents are fragmented between countries or more remote. The Australian achievement is all the more remarkable as there is only one relatively small river—the Murray—discharging through it, so there are no vast deltaic systems or large water supplies like the Nile. Water supplies have had to be secured…
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