Australia's Water Resources: From Use to Management by John Pigram

By John Pigram

Australia s Water assets seeks to discover the situations underpinning the profound reorientation of attitudes and relationships to water that has taken position in Australia in contemporary a long time. The altering emphasis from improvement to administration of water assets maintains to conform and is mirrored in a chain of public coverage tasks directed in the direction of rational, effective and sustainable use of the nation's water. Australia is now regarded as a leader in water reform. Administrative restructuring, water pricing, water markets and exchange, built-in water assets administration, and the emergence of the personal zone, are beneficial properties of a extra economically sound and environmentally appropriate water undefined. it's important that those alterations are documented and their intent and effectiveness defined. This well timed paintings presents an enormous synthesis of those matters. This revised paperback variation is a completely corrected reprint which has additionally been up-to-date to take account of the appointment of Malcolm Turnbull as Minister for the surroundings and Water assets, and the Commonwealth Government's initiative in regards to the administration of the Murray Darling Basin.

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Such an approach should ensure that a drought-affected community is able to relate the overall policy to the particular circumstances of its region. This approach should be supported by drought-contingency studies, again on a regional, community-driven basis. This is done in USA where drought-preparedness studies and drought atlases have been prepared to assist in an incremental response at a regional level to increasingly severe stages of drought (Wilhite et al. 2000). The non-agricultural sector has also responded to the prolonged 2002–3 drought.

Only one previous flood had affected the cotton farmers and relatively minor damage had occurred. Growers placed great confidence in the diversionary and checking effects of irrigation channels, earthworks and roads in offsetting the threat of flood. However, in the 1971 disaster, swiftly moving wave crests caused wide- 060604•Australia's Water Resourc34 34 15/8/06 4:24:33 PM Australia’s water resources – wet and dry 35 spread destruction of buildings, equipment and cotton-processing plants. Irrigation ditches were filled with silt and debris, channel banks were breached, and pumps, farm structures and machinery were destroyed.

Moreover, the area of the continent subject to snowfall, and, hence, the contribution of snowmelt to surface run-off, is minimal by world standards. The mean figures used to describe Australia’s water resources are misleading because of marked irregularities in space and time in the availability of water. Erratic rainfalls – long periods of drought interspersed with shorter spells of excessive precipitation and disastrous flooding – are typical of a climate which is demanding on those people whose livelihoods are linked to a dependable water supply.

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