Articles on Drought

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The receding waters of Lake Pamamaroo which makes up part of the Menindee Lakes system near the township of Menindee, Thursday, February 14, 2019. Dean Lewins/AAP

Droughts, extreme weather and empowered consumers mean tough choices for farmers

Australia's farming industry will need to take full account of its obligations to its workers, its customers, society and the environment if it is to prosper in the years to 2030.
The heat makes the drought even worse, because it makes the plants more thirsty so they have to drink more. Tim J Keegan/flickr

Curious Kids: why do we have a drought?

We can't make it rain. But you are already helping if you don't use more water than you need. And you can talk to your parents about the planet getting warmer, because the heat makes drought worse.
The enthusiasm for recycling water that Australians had at the height of the drought little more than a decade ago has waned. Shaney Balcombe/AAP

When water is scarce, we can’t afford to neglect the alternatives to desalination

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. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Cities turn to desalination for water security, but at what cost?

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?
A dry river bed in south Australia. (Shutterstock)

How drought affects freshwater fish

Freshwater fish are suffering as drought becomes more common and severe. Whether they survive will depend on how governments manage rivers and lakes, and on taking action against climate change.
Ash tree killed by the invasive emerald ash borer. K Steve Cope

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Forests in the US face many threats: climate change, invasive species, pests and pathogens. Could genetically engineering trees make these plants more resilient?
A recent study estimates that high temperatures and drought will lead to drastic losses for all major food crops, including maize and wheat. (Shutterstock)

Microbial aromas might save crops from drought

The microbes living in the soils around plant roots can help plants deal with a variety of stresses.

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