Health & Lifestyle

February 20, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Report: Brisbane Most Vulnerable to Long Drought, Water Shortage

Water dropBrisbane emerged as the most vulnerable to a potential water drought and shortage among capital cities in Australia, according to a Cross Dependency Initiative report.

On the other hand, Adelaide and Perth have the best chances of staving off a water crisis due to resources such as desalination plants. Still, these cities may only handle water demand for residential use, according to Rohan Hamden, Cross Dependency Initiative’s climate change adaptation specialist.

Vulnerable Cities

While Brisbane may be the most vulnerable mainland state capital, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart are even more at risk. According to the report, the absence of desalination facilities in these cities would render them defenceless against a possible drought. In Adelaide and Perth, the desalination plants would provide each person with 342 litres and 397 litres of water per day, respectively.

The water supply per resident in Melbourne would be 209 litres, while those in Sydney would each receive only 99 litres daily. Hamden said that desalination plants have been a worthwhile solution, but local governments have to consider a holistic approach particularly for water infrastructure to address potential supply risks. If historical patterns serve as an indication, he added that a 39-year drought that occurred in the year 1174 could happen again in Australia.

Water Safety Standards

The subject of a likely water crisis not only involves a steady source of supply but also ensuring safe and clean drinking water. Australia recently launched the Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy, which reflects global initiatives on clean water and sanitation.

When planning infrastructure projects, the policy reinforces the need to use materials such as stainless pipe and tube fittings that are compliant with the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

Local and regional governments in Australia need to invest in water infrastructure projects aside from desalination facilities. Is your city capable of responding to a potential drought?