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Time for a change of direction on World Water Day.



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SENATOR RACHEL SIEWERT

Time for a change of direction on World Water Day

22nd Mar 07

“The World Water Day theme of ‘Water Scarcity’ is on the mark for Australia, given that virtually

all of Australia’s major cities now face some level of water restrictions. Nearly all metropolitan

dams are below 50% capacity from the impacts of the devastating drought, and the fact that

climate change is now biting hard,” said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

“The national water crisis has been looming for years, and is now too severe to ignore. Climate

change has blown away the last vestiges of complacency.”

“Water is finally a major item on the national agenda, but further change is needed from both

Government and community.”

“Water is an essential element of life, but in the past, few of us have treated it that way. We still

waste water, it is still too cheap, and it is not always being put to its best use.”

“In the cities we need to look to innovative solutions including decentralised water supply and

recycling systems, better water efficiency and water pricing.”

“In systems like the Murray-Darling basin we need to deal with over-allocation and accept the

fact that we can never go back to ‘business as usual.’ ”

“Above all, we need to leave the mega-engineering mind-set in the past where it belongs.

Australia’s water future is not well-served by more proposals for giant dams, or thousand

kilometre pipelines from northern river systems.”

“Real water security lies in community-wide sustainable technologies and cultural change, not a

repeat of the mistakes of the past.”