Around the world, access to water has always been a key determinant of how and where human populations have flourished. Australia is no different.
Introduction by Bill Young and Ian Prosser
Water is essential to our economy and our way of life and its use has continued to increase due to population growth and expansion of agriculture and other industries. This increase in water use – significantly underpinned by investment in major water infrastructure – has helped fuel Australia’s economic growth, but at an environmental cost.
Australia faces challenges of a growing and urbanising population, of growing demand for water for food and fibre production, and of environmental sustainability, particularly in the face of climate change.
In the face of increasing demand and dwindling supply in some regions. Australia has the difficult task of balancing the use of water for direct economic benefits against indirect benefits such as environmental water use of water for conservation and the provision of ecosystems services.
In order to secure water for future generations, Australian governments, industries, and communities will want to understand current and future water availability and explore ways of meeting the demands on these water supplies.