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National Water Week: October 18 -24

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 12th, 2009

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National Water Week 2009 is hosted by the Australian Water Association, in partnership with the National Water Commission.  First held in 1993, the event aims to increase community awareness of, and participation in the protection and conservation of water resources and habitats.  National Water Week is the only event in Australia that provides a national focus for the achievement of improved water management, awareness and conservation.  The program provides an opportunity for the water sector to engage with the community and promote water education and literacy.   This year’s theme,  ‘Securing Our Water Future’,  provides an opportunity to engage with the complex issues surrounding long-term water security and diversified water supplies.   Community events are scheduled all around Australia, and there’s still time to organise one.   Also check out the education resource section, with songs like Nick Vall’s “Putrid and Pongy“!

‘Securing Our Water Future’:

In the face of climate uncertainty, Australia needs to ensure that we have adequate, safe water supplies for critical human needs, agriculture, and the environment. Whilst this is one of the most fundamental challenges facing society, it can be a difficult concept to communicate, especially in a nation with as diverse climates as Australia, and with a population that has generally had unlimited access to cheap water for the decades prior to our most recent drought. Australia’s water suppliers have some common threads in how to address this challenge.

One of the approaches implemented is diversifying water supplies. This means no longer relying on one main water supply (usually dams), and looking at other ways of ensuring that our water supplies are adequate so that we don’t run out of water in the future. Diversifying water supplies usually includes the following:

• Climate-independent methods of sourcing water (e.g., desalination and recycling)

• Increasing efficiency (by ensuring adequate infrastructure, reducing leakage and evaporation from the systems etc.; as well as efficient water use/savings by water customers)

National Water Week’s theme for 2009 – Securing Our Water Future – is an opportunity for stakeholders in the water sector to engage the community and to provide educational materials and opportunities for dialogue with the community on these complex issues. Current science tells us that water supply methods such as desalination and recycling are safe and effective methods for securing water supplies, and are particularly necessary in the face of climate uncertainty. And depending on the geography of an area, these may need to make up a part of our water supplies.

The key message of National Water Week for 2009 is that water has many sources, many users, and is everyone’s responsibility.

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