Case study: Example of Drought impacts

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  • Drought: Australia
    • Drought is recurring
      • Serious deficiency
        • rainfall totals within the lowest 5% of values on record for at least three months
      • Severe deficiency
        • rainfall totals within 10% of values record within three months
    • Drought prone 30% of the country affected per year
      • Low highly variable rainfall
        • Climate is dominated by the sub-tropic high-pressure of the southern hemisphere
      • Droughts vary considerably
        • Some are short-lived
        • Some last for years
        • Some are localised
        • Some cover much of the country eg. The Big Dry
      • Closely linked to ENSO
        • East Coast drought of southern Queensland, 2002-3
      • Since 1970s there has been a shift in rainfall patterns
        • Eastern Area where most people live is becoming drier in comparison to the NW
      • The BIG DRY is associated with longer climate change - Warmer drier climate
    • The BIG DRY
      • Murray Darling basin provides 50% of agricultural products
      • Australian cities have sophisticated water supplies
        • Withstand multiple episodes of low run-off
        • Reservoirs fell to 40% of capacity
      • Adelaide draws 40% of water from River Murray
        • So over extracted no water flowed out at the mouth
      • Future demands set to exceed supply
        • Desalination plants
        • Recycling of grey water and sewage
        • Better water conservation

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