A major drought has hit Australia’s biggest cities and towns, with a significant impact on water supplies.
Key points: Water shortages have left some communities in the country struggling to get to work or to meet water needsWater is being pumped out of the aquifers, which could be at risk from climate changeThe government is trying to reduce the water demand for residents of some cities by 25% by 2020Key points:A drought has struck Australia’s major cities and is affecting water supplies in some citiesThe drought is caused by climate change and has led to water shortages in some communitiesWater is pumped out through underground aquifets, which can be at the risk of contamination.
But it is the water supply that is the real worry, with many areas of the country having to ration water to keep up with demand.
Water shortages have been reported across parts of the South West, the Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales, with some communities relying on only one tap.
A report released by the Australian Water and Wastewater Authority says many cities in the nation are struggling to meet the water needs of residents.
“In some communities, there is a significant gap in the water system that is either not being met by the community, or that is not being addressed adequately by the public sector,” AWEA chief executive officer, James Smith, said.
“As a result, water is being diverted away from residents and businesses in order to meet peak demand.”AWEA is currently working with the Federal Government to provide advice on how to better manage water flows in some of Australia’s most populous states.
“While we recognise that water shortages are not inevitable, they do pose a significant risk to communities and the quality of life in those communities,” Mr Smith said.
He said AWEAs water management work was currently focusing on the drought in Victoria and some other areas.
“Water is a critical element of our city-based water supply and we are actively supporting local authorities in developing a strategic plan to address water supply constraints,” he said.
Mr Smith said the AWEa report highlighted some areas where the Government was trying to address the water problem.
“We are working closely with the State Government and the Federal government to provide further advice on the needs of Australian cities in terms of the strategic water management plan that they have been developing,” he added.
“That includes ensuring that water is prioritised and utilised and providing support for communities where they are facing water shortages.”