Water Scarcity In Australia Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Water Scarcity in Australia.

Answer:

Introduction

There are a number of resources in scarce across the entire globe. Due to the increase in industrialization and deforestation has led to the scarcity of a number of natural resources across various countries in the world. The topic of the essay is an article, ‘Using data to solve Australia’s water scarcity issues’ published in The Australian on 16th December, 2015. The author of the article, Sharryn Napier is a business spectator who analyzed the usage of technology to fight the water scarcity issue in the country. The business review section of The Australian included this article as one of the latest and innovative usage of the technology to fight with the real-world issue in Australia. Water scarcity is considered to be one of the most significant global risks of the natural resources. The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report in the year of 2015, ranked the scarcity of water to be the number one global risk across the world. Even if the access to clean water is considered to be a human right, it has been analyzed that close to three quarters of a billion people in the entire globe are suffering from the scarcity of the clean water and the article focuses on this issue of the scarcity of water in Australia (Orlowsky, 2014).

Article

Discussion

Clean water is considered to be the bare minimum requirement for the survival of mankind in the world. This natural resource is considered to be scarce across the globe due to a wide range of reasons. Currently the water consumed by the individuals and industries in Australia is consumed to be one of the highest in the entire world. The reason for such a high water consumption is the frequent water-intensive activities such as mining and agriculture (Wheeler, 2014). There are a number of industries and towns in Australia, which are located in isolation and far from each other, which in turn makes it a tough job to get water supply from the surface reservoirs and makes the daily activities of the Australians to be dependent on ground water. The levels of ground water are also decreasing in the country due to the lack of rain, which is posing as a threat to the availability of water across the country. The extreme changes in the climate is also making the elimination of the surface waters to be imminent in the future. These issues and situations are causing the scarcity of water to be one of the major issues in Australia (Hoekstra, 2012).

There are a number of initiatives being taken from the government and other private and public organizations operating in Australia to eliminate the issue of water scarcity from the country. One of the latest technological evolution is the data analytics and data science, which allows the large volume of data from various sources to be analyzed to convert them into meaningful information. This technology is currently being used in Australia to fight with the issue of water scarcity in the country (Ridoutt, 2014). The data from various sources like sensors across the country, structured data stored in the database of the organization operating in various industries and social media platforms used by the individuals living in the corresponding societies can be used to determine the root causes of the issue of water scarcity in the country along with the effects of this issue on the daily activities of the individuals and organizations present in the country. The analysis of these data in the form of graphs and other visual forms allows the government and the organizations in the corresponding societies to determine the efficient way of managing the usage of water in various activities. The efficient usage of the resource with minimal wastage allows the country to stand a chance to survive against the issue of water scarcity. A number of other initiatives in Australia are focusing of on the preservation of the surface waters in the country through effective storage and utilization of the resource. These initiatives have allowed the wastage of water to be decreased by significant amount through a number of projects of water management, water reuse and demand substitution strategies (Griffin, 2016).

There are a number of initiatives taken in the country to substitute the usage of water in various activities in order to tackle the issue of water scarcity in Australia. One of such initiatives is the concept of ‘virtual water’ allows the efficient utilization of water in the agricultural activities and in turn minimizes the wastage of water in the corresponding activities. This in turn allows the country to have a way to tackle the issue of water scarcity (Qureshi, 2013). A number of other initiatives from various private and public agencies operating in the country allow the desalinization of the ocean water to allow it to be used like fresh water. A number of other initiatives have also tried utilizing the waster waters from the industries through a number of filter and purification processes. There hasn’t been any accurate or efficient substitute of fresh water in the country as of now, which can completely eradicate the issue of water scarcity present in the country (Clarke, 2013).

Conclusion

The issue of water scarcity is quite significant in the country of Australia due to the heavy usage of the resource in the daily activities of the industries and individuals present in the country. The lack of rainfall leading to the decrease of the groundwater level along with the decrease in the surface water level have moved Australia much forward in the path of facing the extreme scarcity of water in the country. There are a number of initiatives taken by the government along with private and public organizations in the country to manage the water supply, demand, storage and usage efficiently through various strategies. The usage of technologies like data analysis is also playing a major role in the battle against the issue of water scarcity in Australia (Grant, 2013).

References

Clarke, R. (2013). Water: the international crisis. Routledge.

Grant, S. B., Fletcher, T. D., Feldman, D., Saphores, J. D., Cook, P. L., Stewardson, M., ... & Hamilton, A. J. (2013). Adapting urban water systems to a changing climate: Lessons from the millennium drought in southeast Australia. Environmental science & technology, 47(19), 10727-10734.

Griffin, R. C. (2016). Water resource economics: The analysis of scarcity, policies, and projects. MIT Press.

Hoekstra, A. Y., Mekonnen, M. M., Chapagain, A. K., Mathews, R. E., & Richter, B. D. (2012). Global monthly water scarcity: blue water footprints versus blue water availability. PLoS One, 7(2), e32688.

Orlowsky, B., Hoekstra, A. Y., Gudmundsson, L., & Seneviratne, S. I. (2014). Today??s virtual water consumption and trade under future water scarcity. Environmental research letters, 9(7), 074007.

Qureshi, M. E., Hanjra, M. A., & Ward, J. (2013). Impact of water scarcity in Australia on global food security in an era of climate change. Food Policy, 38, 136-145.

Ridoutt, B. G., Page, G., Opie, K., Huang, J., & Bellotti, W. (2014). Carbon, water and land use footprints of beef cattle production systems in southern Australia. Journal of Cleaner Production, 73, 24-30.

Wheeler, S., Loch, A., Zuo, A., & Bjornlund, H. (2014). Reviewing the adoption and impact of water markets in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia. Journal of Hydrology, 518, 28-41.

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