The Water Crisis in Australia: Why Is It Happening?


Boyz II Men used to hum, “Don’t wait until the water runs dry.” These guys might be talking about love, but doesn’t it apply to the water crisis in Australia as well?

For instance, now is the best time to consider Perth reticulation repairs if your sprinklers are not working the way they should. Otherwise, you might find yourself struggling with finding water.

How Much Water Is There?

Australia is one giant landmass surrounded by water, so it can be confusing for a lot of people why it should be dealing with a water crisis.

On the planet, there’s more water than land. About 98% of it is, in fact, water. But the reality is less than 3% of that is potable or drinkable. That is what you call freshwater.

Of the minute percentage of fresh water, only a percent is accessible to the billions of people around the world. The rest are inside snowfields and glaciers.

These days, climate change and global warming are melting ice caps and glaciers at an alarming rate. This process doesn’t mean they become freshwater, adding water supply.

Instead, they form part of the non-freshwater group, raising the water levels around landmasses. It then makes many islands vulnerable to sinking and, worse, disappearing.

Perth’s Water Issue

ocean view

Australia has another problem: dryness. It’s one of the driest countries in the world. For this reason, states explore different ways to collect water. These include:

  • Groundwater or surface water
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Desalination of saltwater or seawater
  • Recycled water

In New South Wales, particularly Sydney, the majority of the water comes from surface water. It refers to streams, lakes, and reservoirs that collect rainwater.

It’s a different situation in Perth. The city receives surface, ground, desalinated, and recycled water at various levels. The majority of the supply is either groundwater or desalinated water.

Desalination also puts Perth in a safe position as far as finding drinking water is concerned. After all, much of the water around the country is seawater.

The problem lies in the water for irrigation and other uses, including watering gardens and lawns. This water is of lower quality, which means people cannot drink it. It is also mostly groundwater, which means it partly depends on the amount of rainfall.

According to Conversation, the mean temperature in the country rose over the last few years. It already went up by 1 degree Celsius in the previous 40 years. That might be small, but it’s enough to create a cataclysmic change, such as leaving the land dry.

Meanwhile, the rainwater supply dwindled. The number of months that the city receives at least 200mm of rainwater cut in half. The annual rainfall reduced by 3mm each year.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help save water. You can begin with your water sprinklers. Many plants do not need a lot of water, let alone everyday watering. And yet, many homes consume at least a thousand gallons of water daily if water comes from the garden hose.

Getting it fixed, improving your reticulation system, and maintaining it are the best secrets to keeping your lawn healthy and saving water in the process.

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