Chapter 11 is by Ian Prosser
Australia has sufficient water resources to meet its needs, but the locus of use around the major cities and in the Murray–Darling Basin creates problems of regional over-use and the need to find alternative water supplies.
Demands on water resources are growing – from increased urban populations, increased prospects for irrigated agriculture, and the booming minerals and gas sectors – while, at the same time, society recognises the need to provide water for the environment.
Climate change poses an additional pressure on water resources but Australia’s adaptability to droughts and floods will help the management of further adaptation to climate change for a few decades at least.
Australia is in a strong position to face its water challenges: having safe and reliable supplies of water, having achieved significant water reforms, and having solid institutions and many opportunities for innovation.