Management of Australia’s water supply has been a significant government focus of late, with policies and programs resulting from this. While curtains can help reduce evaporation, a concerted effort is being made to reduce water consumption. This is done through investment in water-use efficiency, as well as through water buy-back.
Water for the future
With many past water policies proving to be unsustainable, the federal government has made a concerted effort to ensure a continued water supply and reverse some of the damage caused by previous policies (such as public water distribution). With water traditionally under state jurisdiction, significant cooperation was needed between states in federal coordination.
The Federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts has stated that the Water for the Future program aims to prepare Australia for a future with less water. Its modus operandi revolves around addressing climate change, promoting Water’s judicious use, securing water supplies, and supporting healthy rivers.
Private irrigation infrastructure programs
The goal here is for the government to buy back the water dues made possible through more efficient and productive use of Water. This was made possible by the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Reform of the murray river salt, Murray-Darling Basin and the federal financing that flowed through it. The strategic investment is envisioned over ten years.
Irrigation efficiency program on the farm
This program’s stated goal is to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management on the farm. As in the Murray-Darling Basin area (through financial assistance for this program), irrigation devices are being encouraged to modernize irrigation equipment on the farm. River systems such as Murray-Darling, which have been crippled by overuse in recent times, benefit from reduced water consumption through these modern irrigation projects.
Menende Lakes Project
There are many goals that this project pursues. Two are working to reduce water evaporation in the Menindi lakes, along with improving water efficiency. The project is also key to defending Broken Hill’s water reserves while protecting the local environment. After some initial success, surveys of groundwater sources and also aquifer storage alternatives continue as part of this Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge (BHMAR) project.
Non-urban water meters
This initiative is centered around ensuring the standardization of non-urban water metering at the national level. The goal is to measure water use from rivers and underground water systems more accurately. Identifying possible improvements in efficiency and reducing water losses through delivery systems should be more achievable.
The critical water reform policies mentioned above are part of the federal government’s “Water for the Future” initiative. The public will eagerly await its results. Another severe problem facing farmers is crop failure from birds and bats. A bird net can help protect against these invaders.