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Type: Journal article
Title: “Half a flood’s no good”: flooding, viticulture, and hydrosocial terroir in a South Australian wine region
Author: Skinner, W.
Drew, G.
Bardsley, D.K.
Citation: Agriculture and Human Values, 2022; 40(2):549-564
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 0889-048X
Statement of
William Skinner, Georgina Drew, Douglas K. Bardsley
Abstract: Floods generate both risks and benefits. In Langhorne Creek, South Australia, a historically-embedded system of shared floodwater management exists among farmers, who rely on semi-regular flood inundations as part of the region’s hydrosocial terroir – a dynamic conjunction of water, landscape, social relations and agricultural practice. Unruly floods coexist with a heavily regulated and precisely measured system of modern water management for viticultural irrigation across the region. Since the mid-twentieth century, groundwater extraction and new pipeline schemes have linked Langhorne Creek to the Murray Darling Basin water management system, which has displaced flooding as the primary source of irrigation water. The associated modernist shift towards the rationalization of water as a measurable resource has acted to sideline flood irrigation. Yet, floods maintain important viticultural, ecological and social roles in Langhorne Creek, adding to the flexibility and resilience of the region in response to water management challenges. The system involves technological and infrastructural components, such as flood gates and channels, but also relies upon the cooperation and coordination of community members. Local vignerons suggest that flood irrigation is environmentally as well as economically beneficial, rejuvenating riparian wetlands along watercourses. A more formal acknowledgement of the specific regional experiences of water management in a wine region like Langhorne Creek helps to fill a gap between emplaced and hydrosocial understandings of flood irrigation and broader assumptions about flooding as wasteful and inefficient.
Keywords: Irrigation; Flooding; Langhorne Creek; Terroir; Viticulture; Wine regions
Description: Published online: 08 November 2022
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/.
DOI: 10.1007/s10460-022-10355-w
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
Geography, Environment and Population publications

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