A disastrous wet season has already claimed the landmark billabong on one of Katherine's most beautiful farms.
Judy Holt's Lily Pond Farm on Florina Road has long been renowned for its stunning billabong full of colourful lilies, but the location is now unrecognisable following a horror five-year run of rain in the area.
Today, the only remaining clues to its former wonder are an area of cracked and sunken soil and the row of gums at its edge, themselves exhibiting an uncommonly severe loss of limbs and bark.
Judy says she hasn't seen damage like it in more than 50 years living in Katherine.
"I moved here in '78 but former Mayor Jimmy Forscutt used to own it and I was out here riding horses with him from time to time so I've known the property since about 1964," she said.
"It's never been like this, it's gotten low before but there was still greenery all across it showing the moisture still in the ground.
"We used to see the most remarkable array of birds here from brolgas to whistling ducks by the hundreds and magpie geese.
"I'm fairly certain we even had a salt-water crocodile in there at one point, now we've been finding dead turtles all over the place.
"The weeds are taking hold and I just don't know if it can come back from here, people tell me the lilies can do if the soil is still moist underneath but as you can see it's dry as a bone," Judy said.
Katherine's run of poor wet seasons worsened this year with the lowest rainfall ever recorded in the area at just 457mm compared to its long-term average of 995mm.
Katherine has recorded four poor wet seasons from the past five.
As a long-term member of Katherine's rural community, Judy Holt says she isn't alone in being worried.
"For people on rural properties, all the water tables have dropped so they've had to drop their bores," she said.
"Apart from the cost involved with that there's a significant amount of worry about will happen in the future.
"They don't think the Katherine River will stop flowing but if we keep going this way I personally believe that it will," Judy said.
Even outside of the economic impact drought is already having upon farmers and citizens of Katherine, the emotional toll for those invested in the region's formerly pristine nature cannot be ignored.
"A lot of adventure happened down at that billabong for our family growing up, we'd throw a line in and run around," Judy said.
"Now, this is the first time I've ever seen wallabies dying in the paddock.
"When you're conscious of bird-life and our environment it absolutely does take an emotional toll to see it like this," she said.
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