Articles on Water use

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A new report finds concerns about water infrastructure tops the list for Canada’s water providers. (Shutterstock)

Understanding the risks to Canada’s drinking water

World Water Day shines a light on the importance of safe, clean drinking water, but a new report finds Canada's freshwater systems are under stress.
The Hawkesbury’s waters look beautifully natural but treated sewage makes up to 20% of the river flow where the North Richmond Filtration Plant draws its water. Karl Baron/flickr

More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise

Perth is looking at recycling all its sewage in the city's future water supply. But many Australians' drinking water already contains indirectly recycled treated sewage.
With water storages running low, residents of Cape Town get drinking water in the early morning from a mountain spring collection point. Nic Bothma/EPA

Cape Town is almost out of water. Could Australian cities suffer the same fate?

The situation in Perth in particular has some parallels to that of Cape Town, but Australian cities responded to the last big drought by investing in much bigger water supply and storage capacity.
The Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s largest water storage, dropped to only 16% of capacity in the last big drought. Melbourne Water/flickr

This is what Australia’s growing cities need to do to avoid running dry

Australian cities have turned to some very costly solutions when water is scarce. But as the world's second-highest users of water per person, more efficient use and recycling are key.
Under the proposal, irrigators would have to submit a statement that tallies with aerial images of their water use. AAP Image/Cubbie Group

‘Tax returns for water’: satellite-audited statements can save the Murray-Darling

Allegations of water theft have thrown the Murray-Darling Basin Plan into crisis. The solution could involve users declaring their annual water use, subject to random audits - like a tax return.
Lake Powell, photographed April 12, 2017. The white ‘bathtub ring’ at the cliff base indicates how much higher the lake reached at its peak, nearly 100 feet above the current level. Patti Weeks

Climate change is shrinking the Colorado River

The Colorado River supplies water to millions of people and irrigates thousands of miles of farmland. New research warns that climate change is likely to magnify droughts in the Colorado Basin.

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