Silent Flood

This four part series narrated by David Wenham examines the nature, extent, and current and future scenarios around dryland and freshwater salinity.
Episode 1 - The Story
Although Australians are rapidly discovering impact of salinity, salt has been a part of this country's landscape for hundreds of thousands of years. Over the millennia, every raindrop that fell brought with it a tiny grain of salt from the ocean, and the winds that blasted off the oceans and seas brought salt with them. The salt was absorbed into the soil where it remained, mostly contained. The thirsty trees and plants soaked up almost every drop of rain and so the underground water table remained well below the surface. The system was in balance.
Episode 2 - The Land
This episode examines Dryland Salinity, which is the most visible and expensive salinity problem in Australia. Dryland salinity isn't only a rural and environmental problem; it is, increasingly, an urban problem. The greatest cost to Australia in the future will be the replacement of the roads, railways, bridges, sheds, parks, buildings and houses that are being slowly worn down by salt.
Episode 3 - The Water
Agriculture uses 72% of Australia's water. The largest irrigation systems are in the Murray-Darling Basin, which produce 40% of Australia's agricultural wealth. Salinity is threatening the future capacity of these industries. This episode examines just how saline the Murray-Darling system is and why it's getting saltier. Engineering has created an extraordinary ability to trap and use water - but at what cost to the environment? As the water gets saltier, irrigators are forced to use more water and the problem is exacerbated.
Episode 4 - The Future
In this final episode, Tom Hatton from CSIRO warns that there are two things to remember about salinity:
1. If nothing is done then our country will get saltier.
2. We cannot concentrate on repairing the past - we must fix the future.
Planning for the next 50, 100 or 200 years is not an easy concept for a nation built on rugged individualism. This episode takes a broader look at salinity in Australia and the future. What will happen if nothing is done? How can we fix the problem? What steps have been taken? Is Australia the only nation with salinity problems?

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
2001
Duration: 
4 x 30 mins
Series Episode
Standard $275
Schools $198
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