Key Findings: Drought and Water Security: Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill

Authors: Glenn Albrecht and Helen Allison
Year: 2010

This factsheet presents the key findings of a project conducted to understand adaptation lessons from the experience of managing limited water resources in Kalgoorlie (WA) and Broken Hill (NSW). For both towns, the reaction to extreme dry periods and economic booms has been the development of new infrastructure and strategies to deliver more water and increase efficiencies. However, the challenges of balancing water supply and growth are ongoing and likely to become more severe with climate change. For instance, the economies and the health of residents in both towns have been severely compromised during periods of severe drought, which explains why water has become an extremely expensive commodity in these communities. The factsheet contains further information on the scale of the challenge, the adaptation actions implemented for each town, their vulnerabilities, and the successes and failures when dealing with the management of water security. This study is one of a suite of Historical Case Studies of Extreme Events conducted under Phase 1 of the NCCARF Synthesis and Integrative Research Program to examine present-day management of climate variability and the lessons that can be learnt for adaptation to future climate change.

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