Lessons Learned from Australia’s Drought Experiences


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Australian water management issues provide a unique opportunity to compare impacts and adaptations in portions of Australia, including the Murray-Darling Basin, with the Colorado River Basin. While both areas frequently face severe droughts as well as myriad sources of significant water demand, the severity of drought in portions of Australia exceeds most recent experiences in the CRB. Observing and analyzing the Australian response can provide lessons about governance structures, behavior of political institutions, and use of physical infrastructure to combat drought. WWA researcher Udall has presented on southeastern Australia’s recent experiences with drought and subsequent management and planning responses. In his talks, he describes the history of 20 years of aggressive water reform in Australia, dramatic drought, and federalization of the Murray-Darling Basin in 2007 and 2008 that led to severe political fallout. He has shared his observations on water management and drought planning with water managers, planners, and researchers in the Colorado River Basin during at least five presentations and one radio interview.

Stranger in a strange land: Lessons from an extended stay in Australia

Presentation to Colorado River District Annual Water Seminar, Grand Junction, CO, September 15, 2011

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