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Sunday, 29 April 2007


Australia is suffering a devastating drought. We have no idea whether it's a temporary abnormality or a new weather pattern caused by global warming which is going to stick with us for the long term.

Brisbane's water storages have dropped to under 20% capacity. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on water infrastructure in this region alone, including new dams, pipelines, desalination and reclamation (recycling). It's appalling that our response to a drought which may be caused by global warming is a massive project which first burns oil to power the construction machinery and then coal to power the desal plant and all the pumps. It may in fact be our only option to survive the present conditions but still...

The nation's major food producing region (the Murray-Darling basin) has just been informed that in the absence of significant rain in the next couple of months there will be no water available for irrigation later in the year. If this eventuates, future recovery would take years as long-established trees and vines are likely to die.

All these water woes aren't restricted to humans though. Environmentalists have been telling us for years that our abuse of water destroys ecosystems upon which we all depend. Now the pressure on the environment is coming from both sides: what little rain there is is being consumed by us, with basically nothing left.

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