Sidney, Australia Is About To Run Out Of Drinking Water, Raising New Alarm Over Climate Crisis

On top of the increasing devastation of uncontrollable wildfires, Australia now faces life without water as temperatures rise and severe drought persists, particularly in the city of Sydney.

Sydney, Australia is an iconic location that is home to five million people. Back in 2003, the city dealt with a drought that lasted until 2009. But this drought is different. It’s even more severe, and wildfires are raging and continue to threaten the city. And if the drought drags on for years, especially in the midst of uncontrolled climate change, the water supply is at serious risk of going dry.

Just last year, the dams that supply water to the city were over 60 percent capacity. But while over 100 fires burn hundreds of thousands of acres dam capacity is down to only 46 percent and is projected to drop to 40 percent, which would trigger harsher water restrictions.

And this is all happening before Australia hits the summer months.

“The real challenge is we have an enormous amount of country that is still alight,” NSW fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told The Guardian. “They won’t have this out for days, weeks, months. Unfortunately, the forecast is nothing but above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall over the next few months and we’ve still got summer around the corner.”

Indeed, temperatures are already set to soar above 100 degrees and hundreds of schools have closed as the emergency continues to worsen.

If things don’t improve soon, officials predict Sydney could run out of water in just two years.

“With the current rate of depletion, we could be in a tricky situation in a couple of years,” water minister Melinda Pavey told CNN.

If this comes to pass, more than 5 million people would be without water. Yet, the current prime minister evades when asked about climate change all as the government tries to convince more people to move to regional towns, which are even closer to running out of water.

“You’ve had political focus on getting more people into the regions but if people are thinking about moving to a regional town and they read the place is about to run out of water that might put questions in their mind,” economist Terry Rawnsley told Reuters. “People are drifting away from towns because the drought has weakened the economy but those who want to move away from Sydney are turned off because water is such a fundamental requirement.”

Water is life, and people are just not going to move to places where water is scarce or about to run dry.

“A lot of towns are forecast to run out at the same time — and then where do you get the water from?” added Simon Murray, the mayor of Guyra.

Australia needs a government that is not in denial about climate change. Immediate action is clearly needed to prevent droughts, and planting millions of trees to restore forests would be the best move. For too long, Australia has allowed deforestation for agricultural pursuits, and now they are paying a heavy price with a heavier price still to be paid. It could not be any clearer that Australia needs to buckle down and start doing what needs to be done. The lives of millions are at stake. Surely, the government is not willing to sacrifice them so that a few farmers, miners and oilmen can get rich.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.
 

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