Fresh water is our most precious resource; its scarcity is one of our greatest threats. The recent drought in Eastern Australia – where Sydney experienced severe drought, while towns across New South Wales and Queensland ran out of drinking water – demonstrates our exposure to water scarcity. A recent Productivity Commission report found Australia’s blueprint for water reform, the National Water Initiative, is not fit for the challenges of climate change and our growing population.
How can Australia achieve greater progress in water reform and improve the allocation of water resources through fairer water trading rights and new infrastructure projects, preserve the Murray-Darling Basin for food security, address advancing climate change, acknowledge Indigenous rights to water, deliver decent drinking water to all Australians, and ensure adequate drought management plans are in place around the country? We need to manage our water well into the future, before we are down to the last few drops.