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California turns to Australia for strategies to counter record drought

news
27 May 2015

Facing the longest and sharpest drought on record, Californian authorities are increasingly looking for solutions from Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, AP reported.
California Drought
In Australia, which poet Dorothea Mackellar dubbed "a sunburnt country,'' people now view drought as an inevitable feature.

Californians are studying Australia's experience with its  "Big Dry," a torturous drought that stretched across the millennium, from the late 1990s through 2012.

According to drought-policy expert Linda Botterill of the Unviersity of Canberra, the hard-earned lesson was that long droughts were here to stay, Associated Press reported.

"We can expect longer, deeper and more severe droughts in Australia, and I believe the same applies in the US," Botterill says. "As a result, we need to develop strategies that are not knee-jerk responses, but that are planned risk-management strategies."

According to Felicia Marcus, who runs California's Water Resources Control Board, California needed to follow Australia's example in measuring and publicly declaring how water was used.

Thousands of gauges across Australia measured rainfall, authorities in each state and territory measured surface water at stream gauging stations, while complex underground water monitoring systems had been set up to track water levels.





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