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Analysis and Comment (14)

Sewage would be useful if it wasn’t mixed in together. Sewage would be useful if it wasn’t mixed in together. EPA

Why not change the way you wee to save the world?

The critical links between water, sanitation, and our global consumption of energy – the “energy-water nexus” are more obvious than ever before. But how many of us will take direct action at the most basic…
The Green Army will plant lots of trees: good for mopping up carbon, but not always good for water catchments. The Green Army will plant lots of trees: good for mopping up carbon, but not always good for water catchments. Britta Campion/AAPImage

We mustn’t waste water while taking action on climate change

Should we pick and choose our climate strategies based on how water-wise they are? As our new research published in Climatic Change shows, some activities aimed at tackling greenhouse emissions can also…
Spending on water-saving infrastructure could expose Murray-Darling farmers to debt and drought. Spending on water-saving infrastructure could expose Murray-Darling farmers to debt and drought. Michelle Bartsch/Flickr

The latest Murray-Darling plan could leave farmers high and dry

The federal government’s approach for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has shifted again, and now favours water-saving infrastructure over purchasing water rights. But is it the right move? The new scheme…
A test mine for the Alpha Coal project in central Queensland, which appears likely to go ahead but with greater groundwater protections. A test mine for the Alpha Coal project in central Queensland, which appears likely to go ahead but with greater groundwater protections. AAP Image/Greenpeace, Andrew Quilty

Alpha Coal ruling breaks new ground for protecting water

This week’s court ruling on the future of the A$6.4 billion Alpha Coal project in Queensland – set to be one of the biggest coal mines in the world – is of major significance for how mining projects are…
No water elsewhere could hit food and consumer good supplies here. No water elsewhere could hit food and consumer good supplies here. John Giles/PA

Believe it or not, Britain’s biggest problem is a water shortage

Following the wettest winter for 250 years, it would seem fair to assume that drought-induced food shortages are unlikely to be a problem for Britain. But in the near future we may find that water is a…
If the wells are dry, it doesn’t matter how many hands on the pumps. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…
Time to get our eyes back on the prize: the pragmatic, results-focused, multi-sector research effort of recent decades has stalled. Time to get our eyes back on the prize: the pragmatic, results-focused, multi-sector research effort of recent decades has stalled.

Part two: running dry - the worrying repercussions of running down irrigation research

Welcome to Part Two of Professor Andrew Campbell’s special report on the troubling plight of irrigation research and development in Australia. In part one, Professor Campbell argued that despite an unprecedented…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (3)