Thursday, January 23, 2014

Australia's drinking water at risk from extreme weather events

Space Daily via UPI: Australia's drinking water is at risk from extreme weather, a new study says. The study, commissioned by the United States-based Water Research Foundation, says flooding, prolonged rainfall, drought, cyclones and bush fires impact surface water quality. Such weather events, it says, are predicted to become more frequent and intense in many parts of Australia due to climate change.

"We need to focus on building resilience into our future supplies," said Stuart Khan, an associate professor of the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New South Wales, and lead author of the report, in a news release.

"This means designing systems that are more protected from the impacts of climate change and that have greater flexibility to respond to extreme weather events. This could be partially brought about through a diversification of water sources."

The report comes as Australia broke another heat wave record, with the temperature in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, reaching 114.8 degrees Friday. Bush fires raged across the southeast last week, with more than 100 blazes in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales....

A break away! This oil painting on canvas depicts a late 19th century Australian scene, in the Riverina district during a drought. A mob of sheep is being moved by drovers through a parched landscape in search of water and green pastures. Smelling water, the thirsty sheep stampede downhill towards a dam, as one drover tries desperately to turn them around and save them from being crushed and drowned. A second drover (on the left-hand side, almost hidden by the dust) and two dogs – one having just been knocked over by some sheep – are unable to help. The painting is in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

No comments: