Monday, 1 October 2007

Australian water scarcity and demand - something to think about

Something to think about as the Howard Government fails to come to grips with the over-allocation of water licenses and in an effort to win the 2007 Federal Election refuses to meet the challenge of inappropriate levels of irrigated land, while at the same time in an effort to placate the Nationals continues to support further investigation of Clarence River catchment water diversion.

What hope will Australia have, when it is led by a Prime Minister still lost in the romantic notion that: "You don't always score these things with total logicality. There is emotion in it, because we see farming as part of Australia and it is something very distinctive, the bush, the country. "Battling on the land is part of our identity and we don't want to let go of it." [Australian General News,story no. 7849,28 September 2007]

Australia has received numerous warnings that it needs to rethink its 1950s mindset.
"KERRY O'BRIEN: To pick up again on our earlier issue of climate change, which is being blamed increasingly for prolonged drought and chronic water shortages across much of Australia, there was plenty of food for thought - some of it highly contentious - at an international conference on water in Canberra today. For instance, one of the world's leading experts on water planning points out that as much as 70 times more water is needed to grow food as we would use for domestic consumption. Frank Rijsberman is director-general of the International Water Management Institute based in Sri Lanka, and he paints a picture where water will inevitably become more and more expensive and where in Australia we will have to think less and less about dams, and more and more funneling water away from agriculture, or at least switching away from heavily water-dependent crops. Not a point of view many farmers will be rushing to embrace. I spoke with Frank Rijsberman from our Canberra studio late today. You say that up to two thirds of the world will face or is likely to face water scarcity in coming decades. Where does Australia sit in that scenario?"
[,"7.39 Report",transcript,16 August 2006]
See link for full transcript:

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