Australia: Drought-hit towns prepare for 'unimaginable' water crisis
By Jonathan Barrett
The local authorities have been trucking in fresh water, built a pipeline to a local dam and will soon start drilling in the hope of finding new supplies. For Mayor Simon Murray, the biggest worry is that Guyra is not alone.
“A lot of towns are forecast to run out at the same time - and then where do you get the water from?” he said, referring to an area that is home to some 180,000 people.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says the drought is being driven, in part, by warmer sea-surface temperatures impacting rainfall patterns. Air temperatures have also warmed over the past century, increasing the ferocity of droughts and fires.
Some of the region’s biggest towns, which include Dubbo, with 40,000 people, Armidale, 25,000, and Tamworth, 62,000, are forecast to run out of drinking water mid-to-late next year, according to the latest government projections.