Australians have always had a strong sense of living in a dry continent, so they value their water resources highly. Water is essential to support the economy, the natural environment, and our way of life, but tensions between the differing uses of water are often at the heart of potential conflicts over maintaining sustainable levels of water use.
Australia faces challenges of a growing urbanised population, of a growing demand for food, and of managing threatened aquatic ecosystems, all of which will require more water. Meanwhile, climate change in southern Australia threatens to reduce water availability, while the extreme floods and droughts of the last decade or so have revealed deep vulnerabilities of Australia’s water resources and the ecosystems that depend upon them. It is no surprise therefore that our society is increasingly seeking knowledge about how best to use our finite water resources.
Water: Science and Solutions for Australia draws upon the scientific literature to provide a clear picture of the water challenges and prospects facing Australia. The book covers the status of Australia’s water resources and their future prospects, the many values we hold for water, and the potential for using water more effectively to meet the growing demands of cities, farmers, industries, and the environment.