Nov 28, 2006

Water supply cut by climate change

Water supply cut by climate change


28 NOVEMBER 2006

Today’s release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of its “Water Account Australia 2004-05” shows that Australia’s well is running dry.

The ABS data shows that although water consumption is dropping because of the drought and water restrictions, Australia’s water supplies remain over-allocated, undervalued and misdirected.

Dam levels across Australia are down to 48% capacity, and as low as 33% across NSW and 39% across Victoria.

Climate change is clearly having an impact on water supplies, cutting dam levels in cities and water flow into the Murray Darling Basin. The Murray is at its lowest level in 100 years.

Unless hard decisions are made about climate change and how we use water, Australia’s economic sustainability will be at risk.

Climate change and water are the two sides of the same coin, and Australia desperately needs a strategy that considers both.

Without a plan to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions and address climate change, John Howard does not have a water plan.

John Howard has wasted a decade denying the existence of climate change and criticising action by State Governments.

On 18 July 2006, John Howard asked “how can we seriously tolerate major water constraints in our great cities?” going on to say the water restrictions had ”more to do with protecting the cash flows of water utilities”.

John Howard is wrong.

Demand management for water is important. Water restrictions help raise awareness of how precious water really is.