Sunday, July 20, 2008

Drought threatens water supply of more than a million Australians

Telegraph (UK): The bleak report into the future of the Murray-Darling river system found the situation had become "critical". The system, which runs from Queensland in the country's north east to Victoria in the south, irrigates Australia's vast food bowl and drinking water to more than a million people. However, due to rising temperatures and a desperate lack of rain, inflows to the basin are at their lowest ever recorded levels.

Climate change minister Penny Wong yesterday said the Murray Darling was "in real trouble". "We've had very low inflows, we've had a very dry June and the focus absolutely has to be critical human needs, that is the needs of the million-plus people who rely on the basin for drinking water," she said. "It just reminds us, yet again, the way in which this country is particularly vulnerable to climate change."

Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in a century, with water restrictions in place in most major cities and a forecast for more dry weather.

Rawnsley park station , South Australia. Photo by Peripitus, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2

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