Dams and Ditches: Cultural Landscapes of Colonial Water Management in the Central Highlands of Victoria
journal contributionposted on 15.10.2020, 03:36 by P Davies, SE Lawrence
Gold miners captured and diverted large volumes of water to work their claims in the nineteenth century. This extensive manipulation of water sources, however, has not been widely researched or understood, despite the profound effect it had on the transformation of landscapes and waterways, its role in the commodification of water, and its influence on the development of colonial water law. The alluvial goldfields around Creswick in central Victoria, where extensive evidence of water management is preserved in the landscape today, provides an important case study of water use in alluvial mining. The Humbug Hill Sluicing Company was one of many groups in the district to engage in water engineering on a large scale, and the remains of their activities shed light on changes in the use and perception of water and the role of miners with Californian experience in developing water resources on the goldfields.