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Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people.

Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands.

Drought and poor harvests from 1884 compounded the problems, with some families leaving for Western Australia.

Secret ballots were introduced, and a bicameral parliament was elected on 9 March 1857, by which time 109,917 people lived in the province.In 1860 the Thorndon Park reservoir was opened, finally providing an alternative water source to the now turbid River Torrens.Gas street lighting was implemented in 1867, the University of Adelaide was founded in 1874, the South Australian Art Gallery opened in 1881 and the Happy Valley Reservoir opened in 1896.Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in 1838 with the arrival of livestock from Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.Wool production provided an early basis for the South Australian economy.

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