The need for profound change in our intellectual traditions is a part of the current re-examination of water management in the Murray-Darling Basin. The language of water management has changed to recognise the 'environmental needs' of the river, described as environmental water allocations or environmental flows. But this language continues to position the rivers as just a consumer of water, instead of the source of river water, and is in denial of our dependency on fresh water ecologies for survival.
We need to push the current re-examination of water management further, and move the focus to our life-sustaining connections with rivers; this is what I am calling 'connectivity thinking'. Connectivity is a way of being in the world as described to me by traditional owners whose country is the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin, although they refer to it as connectedness or being connected. Connectivity is also a term I have drawn from ecologists and environmental philosophers. It is intended as a conceptual framework that focuses on relationships, flows and connections.