Water security

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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.
17 mile regulator - a computer controlled flume gate - on the East Goulburn Main Channel Water. ©Rubicon Water

As El Niño bites, it’s time to take stock of our water

With El Niño upon us and the prospect of water scarcity ahead, how well positioned are we to make accurate and timely decisions about water resources?
Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
The Onkaparinga River, part of the catchment that supplies around half of Adelaide’s drinking water. Justin Ratcliff/Flickr

Adelaide is facing a dry future – it needs to start planning now

Imagine a future where the yearly flow into one of the largest water reservoirs of a major Australian city could halve within 70 years. This is a scenario that Adelaide could face if the world continues…
One Nation’s Pauline Hanson says landholders' constitutional water rights have been undermined by government changes – but is that true? AAP Image/Tertius Pickard

Could the Constitution protect farm water from coal seam gas?

The Australian Constitution says residents have the right to water from the rivers for irrigation and conservation purposes but governments have brought in laws that are restricting this – One Nation’s…
The Ord River dam, completed in 1971, formed Australia’s largest artificial lake in the far north west. Graeme Churchard/Flickr

Dams are not the smart way to secure water for agriculture

Some 27 irrigation and dam projects are highlighted in the green paper for agricultural competitiveness released this week by agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce. Six of the projects – five in Tasmania…
Warragamba Dam, supplying drinking water to over four million residents of Sydney.

Axing water overseer could leave regional Australia high and dry

Summer is coming and, with it, dry conditions for many parts of Australia. While it may be difficult to imagine for city dwellers, parts of regional Australia will likely face severe water shortages over…
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. 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. 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…

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