Think California's drought looks bad? Look to Australia for a reality check.
The land of kangaroos and koalas is suffering its worst drought in history. It began in 2001, and it's been bad enough to win a spooky name: the Millennium Drought.
Australian leaders have responded aggressively to what they view as a permanent state caused by climate change.
At the recent World Water Forum in Istanbul, Australian efforts were held up as a model for regions pondering a warmer, thirstier future. That resonates in California these days.
At the forum, The Bee interviewed Greg Claydon, director of strategic water initiatives for the state of Queensland, Australia. That state will spend $9 billion on three wastewater recycling plants, a desalination plant, two new dams and 120 miles of pipe to link them in a flexible new supply network.
Similar solutions – desalination, wastewater recycling, dams and major diversions of river water – also are on the table here, as California struggles through water-supply threats in a third year of drought.
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