Managing drought: learning from Australia

This research reflects on some of the key lessons from the Australian Millennium Drought experience in order to assess the opportunities for California. It serves as a powerful resource for Californian water planners and managers as it grapples with drought and seeks to build resilient and sustainable water systems. It provides a one-stop shop overview of the key events and initiatives implemented in Australia’s four largest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (and the surrounding south east Queensland region), and Perth. The work represents one interpretation of the drought and responses, informed by significant engagement with utilities and governments throughout that period, and a close working knowledge of the water systems and the policy environment. Specific attention is given to the role of demand-side measures in reducing the impact of drought.