The basic elements of an inland NSW drought are straightforward enough.
First the rain stops and then, very gradually, so does everything else. Crops fail, or are not planted at all. Farms enter a holding pattern, suspending usual harvesting schedules and abandoning seasonal employment. Businesses dependent on active farms and abundant agricultural production reduce their hours and their staff numbers.
During the next stage, flora and fauna are hit. Australian trees and wildlife are among the toughest on earth, but even they will eventually fade when water is withdrawn. Finally the rivers run completely dry. This is where we stand with the Darling River, now mostly an exceptionally wide and deep dirt path.