The last bushfire season showed Australians they can no longer pretend climate change will not affect them. But there’s another climate change influence we must also face up to: increasingly scarce water on our continent.
Under climate change, rainfall will become more unpredictable. Extreme weather events such as cyclones will be more intense. This will challenge water managers already struggling to respond to Australia’s natural boom and bust of droughts and floods.
Thirty years since Australia’s water reform project began, it’s clear our efforts have largely failed. Drought-stricken rural towns have literally run out of water. Despite the recent rains, the Murray Darling river system is being run dry and struggles to support the communities that depend on it.
We must find another way. So let’s start the conversation.