Australia Launches Water Office To Tackle Worsening Drought

Australians don't need another level of bureaucracy, they need WATER NOW. This is what happens when you POLITICIZE this issue. And if you are not going to tackle climate change in conjuction with this you are not tackling the water crisis, especially in regards to water infrastructure and waste as it relates to the effects of climate change...i.e. more severe and sustained droughts from the effects of climate change that will require proper management, infrastructure, and conservation. It is simply smoke and mirrors otherwise, just like this government's stance on the Kyoto Treaty.
Australia Opens Water Office

Tue Sep 26, 1:32 AM ET

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's water resources are drying up much faster than predicted, experts have warned, as the government unveiled an office dedicated to tackling the worsening crisis.

Government scientists said their worst-case scenario for 2050 -- widespread drought, shrinking ski fields and crop failure -- appeared to be happening now and urgent action was needed to sustain water supplies.

"All the models we have been working on suggested the sort of drying we are seeing now wouldn't be here until about 2050, so it appears to be happening much quicker," eminent water scientist Peter Cullen told News Ltd. newspapers.

The dry weather could be caused by a dramatic acceleration of climate change or drought worsening the effects of expected levels of climate change, he said.

With the country in the grip of its third worst drought in history, the government announced Tuesday the creation of an office of water management to take charge of the situation.

"Water is the biggest environmental challenge Australia faces and the federal government is taking a growing role in directing and managing the response to the water challenge around Australia," said Parliamentary Secretary Malcolm Turnbull, the country's newly-anointed water guru.

The development follows the recent visit to Australia of former US vice president Al Gore, now a campaigner for climate change awareness, who said the effects of global warming were clearly visible in the world's driest inhabited continent.

However, Australian Prime Minister John Howard dismissed Gore's contention that climate change had led to a drop in rainfall in Australia's agricultural areas. He also did not meet Gore or see his film, "An Inconvenient Truth".

The so-called "Big Dry" has already cost the rural economy five billion dollars (3.85 billion US) and politicians took the unusual step of asking Australia's churches last month to pray for rain.

But conditions in the country's southeast and northeast coastal areas are expected to become even drier than normal over the next three months, according to the bureau of meteorology.

Government scientific agency CSIRO predicts Australia's average temperatures will rise up to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by 2030 and six degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit) by 2070.

Climate modelling also shows snow cover will shrink by almost 40 percent in the next 24 years and up to 85 percent by 2050.

Labor doesn't approve:

Labor Criticizes Water Plan

Throwing money at it now to give the illusion you are doing something doesn't solve it. Especially when it has been going on for so long.

Water Office To Tackle Drought Crisis