Report

Australia’s climate is changing Australia: the state of Australia's water

9 Nov 2006
Description

In 2004, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists gave its wholehearted support to the National Water Initiative and we still do. However, when we put the Initiative together, we gave ourselves until 2014 to get water management right, but nature has taken over the timetable. Australia’s climate is changing Australia and we must respond. Australia must urgently accelerate the agreed water reforms.Australia is experiencing one of the worst 'droughts' in history. It is the first time that the autumn rains have failed seven years in a row in the Murray Darling Basin. There are no signs that this current weather pattern is abating, but there are signs that this is more than just a drought. Our continent is getting hotter, and rainfall patterns have changed significantly. When you weigh up all the evidence, it appears that parts of Australia are experiencing a step change in its weather patterns. In some parts of Australia, these step changes are more reminiscent of the pre 1950s than the high rainfall period we have experienced in eastern Australia since. And science is warning us of further uncertainty as a result of climate change. This change in climate may be part of a natural cycle or it might be caused by climate change or it might be a combination of both. Whatever the cause, Australia has a problem, because it’s stopped raining where we built our cities and where we developed our irrigation infrastructure.

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Published year only: 
2006
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