Chapter 1: Current water availability and use
By Ian Prosser
Overall, Australia has sufficient water resources to support its current uses, consuming 6 per cent of renewable water resources each year.
Current use of rainfall and water resources in effect meet the needs of more than 60 million people, through Australia’s exports of agricultural produce.
However a very uneven distribution of water resources across Australia and high year-to-year variability means that water resources in some regions are fully or over allocated, while others remain largely undeveloped.
Australia’s arid landscape and high potential evaporation pose challenges from the high demand for water by crops and cities, and large water losses from reservoirs and inland rivers.
Some water resources are at risk from bushfires and unlicensed uses, which can reduce water available to licensed users.
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