I’ve said to anyone who will listen for the last 10 years that the future for Australia is bleak without water security. But there is little drive to have water security on the agenda. I was pleasantly surprised today after reading this item on Ballarat’s ‘The Courier’ website.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth; also the flattest continent on the planet. Our nation’s interior has one of the lowest average rainfalls in the world with three-quarters of the land arid or semi-arid. The variation in our rainfall occurs through a complex series of interactions between the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans and the temperatures and currents flowing through them.
Dorothea McKellar put it best in her Poem ‘My Country’:
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
You can read the full work on her memorial website; It’s a stirring read.
Ensuring Australia’s water security has taken on a greater weight in recent years as the effects of global climate change have come to the fore. While we are getting more rain overall, that rain often falls in areas where there is little to no catchment for later release, and much is lost to evaporation.
Water is life. Ensuring that we have water where we need it, when we need it is vital to our long-term survival as a nation and to ensure food security not only for ourselves but for our overseas customers.
By building a water infrastructure, smart use of renewable energy (we have a very high number of days with sunshine by global comparison), and the storage of both water and renewable energy we can secure our future, allow for diversified growth around the nation and ensure that towns, people and the country as a whole benefits from the investment made.
Now it’s time to get the politicians on board. Time to get the politicians to look beyond the next news cycle, the next election to plan the longer term survival of our nation and its people. We feed a huge amount of people in and out of the country. Having water security, ensures food security and regional security for the long-term and ensure a peaceful and happy home life too. It is time to get this major infrastructure project under way.
- Find out more about Rainfall trends from the 2006 survey on the Department of the Environment’s website.
- Find out more about our inland water on the Department of the Environment’s website.