Australians, like many others, have long been in denial about climate change, despite the warnings from scientists. As much of South Eastern Australia enters its 17th year of low flows, our major water storages have emptied and Australians are starting to realize something is wrong. We have moved from denial of this issue to anger that Governments have not done more. Hopefully we will now move quickly to acceptance and get on to address this challenge.
In this presentation the author outlines the climate change and how it is affecting the Australian water situation. He describes the policy framework that has been agreed as the best way for us to confront water scarcity, and he outlines the way in which both the urban and rural sectors may have to cope with the situation. The paper finishes by outlining the challenges anticipated for freshwater ecologists as we grapple with the issue of protecting aquatic ecosystems from the increasing pressures they are experiencing.