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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.
An Egyptian farmer tries to irrigate his land with water from a well. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A worsening water crisis in North Africa and the Middle East

At present, the Middle East and North African region contains 7% of the world's population but only has access to 1.5% of its renewable freshwater supply through rainfall.
Despite a decade of drought and declining rainfall in parts of Australia, there’s still plenty of water to go around. Maroondah reservoir from www.shutterstock.com

Declining rainfall in parts of Australia, but still plenty of water available: BOM report

The Millennium Drought ended more than five years ago, but several years of below-average rainfall and El Niño have brought drought back to many parts of Australia. Our latest report on water in Australia shows rainfall is continuing to decline in eastern Australia and increase in the north.
Last time around, the Victorian Government made too many decisions predicated on a stereotyped idea of Australian drought. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Victoria needs flexibility to get through the next drought

The notion that Australia is the driest inhabited continent on the planet has created a persistent stereotype. Recent weather shows it to be misguided. It suits embarrassed planners, myopic politicians…
The Wonthaggi desalination plant was proposed as Victoria’s solution to water security, but has been the subject of community concern and protest. AAP/Thiess

Solving water security: don’t ignore the public

What is the best solution to the problem of water security in Australia? Finding an answer to this question is no easy matter. There is still much we don’t know about the nature and impact of climate change…
A desalination breakthrough means industry could provide its own sustainable water supply. Bill Kwok

A desalination revolution that saves water and energy

Desalination plants have been controversial, mostly because of their high energy demand and the waste water they produce. But a new desalination technology uses almost no electricity and has the potential…

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