What lessons were learnt from Cape Town’s “Day Zero”?
Cape Town's draft strategy on water supply is out for comment, but important elements are missing from it.
The enthusiasm for recycling water that Australians had at the height of the drought little more than a decade ago has waned.
Cities relied entirely on conserving and recycling water to get through the last big drought. We now have desalination plants, but getting the most out of our water reserves still makes sense.
The largest desalination plant in Australia, Victoria’s A$3.5 billion ‘water factory’ can supply nearly a third of Melbourne’s needs.
Sydney and Melbourne are bringing desalination plants back on stream and Adelaide plans to increase its plant's output. Perth depends on desalination. But is it the best way to achieve water security?
Neither of the two federal investigations into fish deaths in the Darling River include any Indigenous representation.
Chemicals poured down the sink or pumped into the atmosphere can eventually end up in the groundwater, which means less available fresh water for us to use.
While making small volumes of pure water in a lab is possible, it’s not practical. The reaction is expensive, releases lots of energy, and can cause really massive explosions.
A farmer weeding his maize crop south of Harare, Zimbabwe.
EPA/ Aaron Ufumeli
Outdated water permit systems are threatening food security on the continent. Here's what can be done.
Reliable water supply is essential for South Africa’s development.
South Africa is a water stressed country but crisis point can be avoided.
The latest Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts tell us waste production is rising with GDP, but the information is incomplete and widely ignored.
Water and energy use are becoming more efficient, which is good news for both the economy and the environment. But Australia has yet to realise the value of national environmental accounting.
People in the HaMakuya community go without potable water for months.
Small solutions done properly can play a huge role in dealing with water scarcity.
The more the market is willing to pay, the harder it is to regulate water use.
Residents of a small Victorian town realised that delicious water can be a curse as well as a blessing, when they lost a legal battle to stop a local farmer shipping groundwater to a nearby bottling plant.
A new report finds concerns about water infrastructure tops the list for Canada’s water providers.
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.
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.
A fisherman at work in the White Nile. Half the river’s flow is lost to evaporation from the Sudd swamps, a large wetland.
Arne Hoel/World Bank/Flickr
Nature based approaches to solving water problems originated in Europe and don't take into account Africa's huge infrastructure deficit.
Capetonians wait to fill up water containers.
There are measures in place to manage Day Zero and beyond. Models show that these will not work.
With water storages running low, residents of Cape Town get drinking water in the early morning from a mountain spring collection point.
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.
Women collecting water in Mali echo a common scene across Africa.
Developing a map of African countries' water poverty levels offers a transparent analysis for policymakers, governments and organisations that deal with water issues.
The Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s largest water storage, dropped to only 16% of capacity in the last big drought.
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
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.
Colonial notions of public and private space are embedded in sewage systems.
Modern sewerage infrastructure, exported from Britain to the globe, is entirely dependent on water. In a world of growing climate extremes, it's time to look beyond this colonial legacy.
Tropical rainforests are among the biggest contributors to the global greening boom.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The globe is greening as plants grow faster in response to rising carbon dioxide. But a new analysis shows they aren't using more water to do it - a rare piece of good news for our changing planet.