Droughts are a normal part
of a variable climate. They have always occurred and will continue to occur in
the future. Researchers have identified periods over the last 1000 years where
droughts occurred that were even worse than those on conventional records.
As our climate continues to warm and become drier, climate modelling tells us that droughts are likely to be more frequent and harsher. The Millennium Drought of 1997-2009, a drought unprecedented in duration and intensity, has been linked to human induced climate change.
During times of drought there may not be enough water to meet normal levels of demand. Like other water corporations, we use water restrictions to manage demand during particularly harsh droughts. We’re guided by our Drought Response Plan when making decisions on water restrictions.
There’s always a trade off when considering how resilient our water supply systems should be to droughts. Water restrictions are inconvenient and can have a community cost, but securing additional water to avoid water restrictions also comes at a cost which can mean higher water tariffs.
In managing our water supply security, we’ve always allowed for water restrictions to help to manage the worst years. This has helped to avoid large price increases. We’re keen to hear your views on drought preparedness and how we might strike the right balance for the future.