Articles on Water security

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If the wells are dry, it doesn’t matter how many hands on the pumps. Kevin Frayer/AP

Water supply will struggle to meet demands of thirstier world

There are already many countries where the scarcity of water affects people’s lives. While water for drinking may be first to come to mind, as agriculture is the largest use of water worldwide water scarcity…
Fracking would exacerbate problems with low water levels in reservoirs. John Giles/PA

Water supplies may struggle to cope with fracking demands

The drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of wells for oil or gas is a well-established technique and requires large quantities of water. During the initial drilling of the well, water is needed…
Rainfall is dropping, but runoff into dams used for irrigation is dropping even faster. CSIRO

In south-western Australia, water shortages will worsen

While the rest of Australia has had a reprieve from the Millennium Drought, and floods have recently affected many areas along the north eastern Australian coast, the extended dry period that has affected…
South East Queensland’s grid of water treatment plants are meant to drought proof the region, but could help in floods too. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

How ‘drought infrastructure’ can help us get through floods

Over the last six years, there have been major investments made in “climate independent” water supplies and other measures to help “drought-proof” most of Australia’s capital cities. These have included…
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…
Sewer infrastructure isn’t ready for our water saving techniques. gnackgnackgnack/Flickr

What’s that smell? Water saving’s unintended consequences

Saving water is a good thing, right? But what if I told you it could also cause problems. A recent study from Victoria University indicates water-conservation can have unintended consequences for residents…
Storing surplus water underground will ease the hard times during drought. Tim J Keegan/Flickr

Banking water underground for our future

Australia should prepare now for dry times ahead by “banking” its water underground. This means storing surplus water underground during wet periods and bringing it up for use during dry times. Water storage…

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