Australia Must Invest In Water Infrastructure

This is a common problem that is faced by more countries than the continent of Australia, but Australia is a clear example of how the effects of climate change combined with wasteful water practices will leave many countries literally high and dry if they do not get serious about investing in water infrastructure and managing waste of water.

And according to this report from 2003:

Human Induced Climate Change Causing Drought

Yet, PM Howard will not be willing to take the necessary steps regarding this crisis, because he parrots Bush's lame excuse that signing the Kyoto Protocol will hurt the economy. Apparently he hasn't been paying attention to world events, where the drought in China has cost them dearly in lost crops (as it has also right here in the U.S.A.) because of human induced drought. There does NOT have to be a sacrifice of economy for sustainability. WAR is what costs us PM Howard, not actually using our resources for SUSTINENCE.

And this:
Drought Kills Eight Million Cattle

The pictures here will break your heart. Cattle, shrimp, wheat, and other crops have been effected by this drought that has been going on for three years now, and is only predicted to get worse for the winter months. Just what has to happen before the leaders of Australia realize that the economy of this contneint IS suffering BECAUSE they need to have a plan to mitigate the effects of drought and other effects of human induced climate change and waste?

Worsening Drought In Australia
Earth Observatory

Australia Told To Reform Water Systems
By Rob Taylor
Mon Sep 18, 4:24 AM ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia is the driest continent, but chronic water problems in its cities and rural areas are the result of poor management rather than water scarcity, a new report said Monday.

As Australia braces for another searing summer and a worsening drought, a report for a business lobby group said rather than restrict water use, governments should fix water supply flaws, which would boost the economy by as much as A$9 billion.

"Australia's water supply system is broken and needs urgent solutions," Business Council of Australia chief executive Katie Lahey said. "Unavoidable water scarcity is one of Australia's greatest myths."

Since 2002, Australians have endured one of the worst droughts in recorded history, with governments imposing restrictions on householders watering their gardens and banning people from using hoses to wash their cars.

The long dry spell has given rise to multi-billion dollar proposals to "turn the rivers around" and pipe water thousands of kilometers from the wet tropical north to the drought-affected southeast where most of Australia's 20 million people live.

The country's weather bureau is now predicting a drier and hotter than average spring from September to November, with a possible drought-inducing El Nino in its early stages.

Lahey said water restrictions in many communities would be unnecessary if a competitive water-trading scheme was introduced and there was more investment in water infrastructure.

"Water use in our major cities has declined by nine percent since 2001, but our water supply problems are getting worse," she said.

Visiting Australia last week, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore warned Australia had more to fear from global warming than almost any other nation given the scarcity of water.

The Business Council said to help address problems, the price of water needed to rise, with Australians willing to pay 540 times more for bottled drinking water than they were for water through the tap.

Water expert Peter Cullen from the University of Canberra said the BCA paper was a wake-up call for governments at all levels across Australia.

"Water trading is necessary and we must all expect to pay more for water," he said, adding Australia had been caught out by the pace at which climate change had hit water resources.

"Much of what is happening now we were not expecting to see until 2050," he said.

But Mike Young, an environmental scientist at the University of Adelaide, said despite its sun-parched image, Australia ranked 40th in the world for availability of water per head of population, with more 150 nations worse off.