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Salinity and science

Salinity and science

Science offers complex and useful understandings of how natural systems work. Dramatic ecological changes imposed across the Wagga Wagga district since the 19th century induced unexpected problems like salinity. By identifying and explaining why salinisation happens, science guides efforts to address the problem of salinity.

People, salinity and science

People shape places. How we see and talk about land influences, how we engage with it. Problems like salinity have been exacerbated by the ecological changes made across the Wagga Wagga region since settlement in the 19th century. Careful and innovative responses by people to the phenomenon of salinisation reveal shifting understandings and perceptions of land.

Greg Summerell
Courtesy: Greg            

Greg Summerell, a creative young research scientist developing new understandings of how salt moves from the land into streams.

Jim Phillips
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

Jim Phillips came out of retirement as a soil conservation officer to teach people in the community about salinity.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Salinity education display

Sid and Patricia Clarke
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

Sid Clarke, a third generation farmer, and his wife Patricia have lived on their property for 38 years. Since the 1980s they have adopted a policy of land management to reflect land stewardship.

Places, salinity and science

Places tell stories. The patterns and particularities encountered in places reveal entangled histories of land, people and other species. Crumbling brick walls, salinity scalds, gardens of Indigenous plants and signs explaining salinisation speak of the various and shifting ways people have imagined and engaged with land across the Wagga Wagga district.

Wagga Wagga Showground
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

Wagga Wagga Showground is the site where the effects of salinity were first identified in the Wagga Wagga urban area.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Emblem Park | Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group

Emblem Park
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

The first pumping bore of the Central Wagga Wagga Bore field was installed at Emblem Park. These bores are being used to regulate the level of the water table.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Groundwater map | Monitoring bore no. 9 | South Campus

Objects, salinity and science

Objects have histories. As salinity reshapes places and draws responses from residents of the Wagga Wagga district, a diverse range of objects record and tell these stories of dynamic interaction between land and people. On close inspection, objects reveal rich histories of changes brought by salinity to places and to human perceptions and behaviour.

Monitoring bore no. 9
Photo: George Main     

Bore no. 9, located at South Campus, was one of more than 100 bores used to monitor changes in the watertable in the Wagga Wagga urban area.

Related Pass the Salt stories: South Campus | Emblem Park

Salinity education display
Photo: Naomi Zouwer   

Jim Phillips and his son Andrew designed and built a theatrical display to demonstrate how salinisation works.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Jim Phillips

Bottle tree
Photo: Greg Summerell

Greg Summerell's bottle tree captures samples of water from different depths in the creek. This helps him to understand the movement of water and how salty it is.