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California Drought: Lessons from Australia’s Biggest Dry

Join the Conversation
How should California respond to its water challenge?
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
10:00a – 12:00p PDT
1:00p – 3:00p EDT.

Contents


How should California respond to its water challenge?

maestro-invite

Your expertise, creativity and participation is needed. We’re doing another special MaestroConference event Tuesday, March 18 — join us and bring your best thinking to help advance conversations and thought leadership around the California drought.

What can California learn from Australia?
Take part and help sort out the seminal trends that are shaping water’s future, from Los Angeles to Melbourne.

Summary: The International Context

The California drought, now in its third year (and apparently worsening), looks to be a significant test of the capacity of residents, farmers, businesses and governments to ensure the state’s water security.

By 2009, southeast Australia had already endured 8 years of drought, the longest and deepest in that country’s history. The largest rice industry in the southern hemisphere collapsed. A bushfire north of Melbourne killed 173 people. The River Murray stopped flowing to the sea. Dredges were used to keep the mouth of the river system open.

Australia, however, was policy-ready for this drought. It had revised its entire water entitlement and allocation system. In the drought’s worst year, when the total volume of water available to farmers was cut to one third, the value of irrigated agriculture remained at 70 percent of normal.

Can Australia’s responses help California’s drying farms and water-challenged cities?

This special interactive event features eminent water experts from Australia and the United States, and Circle of Blue journalists who have reported from the front lines of the droughts in Australia and California.

This is the second in a series of free conference events on the California drought. You will gain a deeper understanding about Australia’s Millennium Drought, its consequences, and participate in identifying the lessons that California’s leaders should consider.

Links and Resources

Australia’s Biggest Dry

Australia’s Food Bowl, Like The World’s, Is Drying Up

Water Policy Reform
Lessons in Sustainability from the Murray–Darling Basin

What is Choke Point: Index?

Choke Point: IndexCircle of Blue’s Choke Point: Index reports on the precarious condition of the freshwater supply in three iconic American farm regions, including California’s Central Valley.

Choke Point: Index is produced with primary support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Wege Foundation, and Alpern Foundation

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call-ca-drought

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California Drought: Lessons from Australia’s Biggest Dry

Heather Cooley
Water Program Director
Pacific Institute

Professor Michael Young
Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies, Harvard University
Chair in Water and Environmental Policy, University of Adelaide
Honorary Professor, University College London

Dr. Robert Wilkinson
Director, Water Policy Program
University of California, Santa Barbara

Brian Richter
Chief Scientist of Water Markets
Nature Conservancy

J. Carl Ganter
Managing Director
Circle of Blue
Member, World Economic Forum
Global Agenda Council on Water Security

Keith Schneider
Senior Editor
Circle of Blue

Brett Walton
Reporter
Circle of Blue

About Circle of Blue

cob-logoCircle of Blue reports from the front lines of the global competition between water, food and energy in a changing climate.

In 2012, Circle of Blue received the Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Award for on-the-ground journalism, data collection, analysis and convening.

MaestroConference


maestroBring interactivity and engagement to your conference calls with MaestroConference.

Questions

index@circleofblue.org
@circleofblue

California Coverage
circleofblue.org
Choke Point: Index
California
#CAdrought

Australia Coverage
Australia’s Biggest Dry

Photograph
© Brent Stirton/Getty Images Reportage for Circle of Blue

 

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