WATER - Drought in Australia

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  • Drought in Australia
    • Located in the southern hemisphere of the Australasian region
    • Up to 30% of the country is affected by severe rainfall deficiency. (El Nino is a big contributor - 2002-2003 East Coast Drought SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND).
    • becoming more frequent and severe. 2006 'The Big Dry'. (a 1 in 1000 year event associated with long-term CLIMATE CHANGE).
    • Did not follow the same downward spiral that the Sahel did (desertification). This is due to management of scarce water resources and sorting demands of irrigation and urban dwellers.
      • Large-scale recycling grey water, constructing desalination plants and creating water conservation strategies.
    • The climate is dominated by sub-tropic, high-pressure belts.
    • PHYSICAL CAUSES- less rainfall, global warming (increased evaporation), rivers dry up, vegetation dies.
    • HUMAN CAUSES- increase in livestock (40%), overgrazing (soil depleted of nutrients), over-cultivation, deforestation, climate change.
    • cattle prices fall as drought hits, so farmers go into debt.
    • IMPACTS - less groundwater and carbon stores, loss of vegetation and plant growth, unable to maintain water quality, nd less resources are provided).

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