Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Water resources management in Australia during drought

Nourani, A., Irfani, S. and Vosoughifar, H.M. (2011) Water resources management in Australia during drought. In: 1st International Conference on Water and Society, WS 2011, 5 - 7 November, Las Vagas, USA pp. 527-537.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


During history, humanity has been just a witness of droughts. To better perceive why society is still reacting to droughts rather than planning for their consequence, the activities of different levels of government in planning for droughts must be investigated. Until very recently, the policies of most Australian governments for dealing with drought have been to the state of waiting and in the meantime provide some form of emergency assistance to localities and hope the disaster can be over. The policies of the local governments also have been to provide emergency relief and to try to lessen water demand to match the available supply. This governmental approach, however, has not cut the economic losses or the level of inconvenience and suffering of the Australian citizens. In climatic terms, a drought can be defined as a pause of time, during which the actual moisture supply at a given place consistently is less than the climatically expected or climatically appropriate moisture supply. Water deficiencies can develop rather quickly in the root zone, most droughts are thought of as agricultural droughts. This characterization can be confusing. However, because an agricultural drought can occur in the midst of a hydrological wet period. The distribution of precipitation during a year can be such that there is a lack of moisture during a critical growing period for a variety of crops and the total precipitation for the year can be greater than the historical yearly average. This paper will provide an overview of Australian government approach to droughts, investigate obstacles to effective planning for droughts, political considerations and framework for state action.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: WIT Press
Copyright: © 2011 WIT Press.
Notes: In: S.E. Jorgensen, C.A. Brebbia, V. Popov (eds), WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Volume 153, 2011, Pages 527-537
Item Control Page Item Control Page