Saturday, December 19, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Developing a National Drought Policy in Australia

By Lance Winslow

Australia just went through the worst drought in 50 years. Interestingly enough, their drought wasn't any worse as a percentage of average rainfall as it was 50 years ago, but unfortunately they have a lot more people now all vying for the same amount of water. Some folks have blamed global warming, but it appears it was the El Nino cycle is what changed things. Luckily, the drought is over, however their problems with over water use remain.

Each time there is a drought it will appear to be more severe due to the water usage. If you'd like to learn more about how Australia dealt with this incredible drought situation, then I'd like to recommend a very good book to you, a project I actually participated in, and gave commentary for: "Consultations on National Drought Policy: Preparing for the Future - Drought Review Panel", The Government of Australia, 2004.

The book describes the Australian government's $1.2 Billion Drought Assistance Program, and the importance for preparedness in the future due to climate variability, El Nino, and the cyclone season. This book fully describes the regional and social impacts and why a National Drought Policy is paramount. It also describes future procedures for Drought Declarations and Alert Levels.

The economics of drought when there is a shortage of water there is also a drought in the business community. It obviously affects farming and agriculture, and that goes without saying, but it also affects nearly every industry. This is why water conservation is a key. It is my contention that the Australian government was very wise to be proactive in solving their problems and mitigating the drought situation. It is also my belief that every government should study this, because it is a blueprint for future success when calamity strikes. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this.

Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank. Lance Winslow believes in conservation of water resources.

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