Australia’s water supply has become scarce, with one expert even describing the country’s cycle as if it is “on steroids” because of climate change.
A Climate Council report showed that smaller rainfall patterns in the last 30 years indicate the prevalence of flooding and the severity of potential drought at the same time. The good news, however, involves certain efforts of researchers for exploring wastewater recycling methods.
Climate change may be a key factor for the diminishing water supply in Australia, but infrastructure also serves an important role. For instance, polyethylene pipe fittings for sewer lines should be regularly maintained, especially in preparation for flooding. Sewage overflows not only pose harm to the environment, but also to the safety of the potable water.
Capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne will bear the brunt of the impact and this is quite problematic since the country’s population is largely concentrated in these cities. Public and private sector projects would need to involve more than just desalination resources. These facilities incur billions of expenses, even if it would provide the water supply for the next 10 to 15 years
Finding New Ways
Perth likewise struggles with its own drinking water issues, which led the city to launch an innovation centre to address the lack of supply in Western Australia. Other than desalination and groundwater pumping, the new facility will look into finding new ways to treat and reuse wastewater.
The initiative is not entirely new since it already began in 2016. In the city alone, wastewater volume reaches 164 billion litres, which come from residential and commercial sources throughout the state. The high cost of wastewater recycling will be a factor, however, so there is a need for competitive pricing among suppliers.
The report should indicate that climate change exacerbates the possibility of drought and flooding in Australia. The solution that involves the right infrastructure and initiative should be economical and sustainable.