A scientist has questioned whether Australia’s water-stressed capitals including Adelaide and Perth could suffer a Cape Town like disaster.
The South African city, double the size of Perth, is currently a natural disaster area and desperately fighting ‘Ground Zero’ day.
Perth has suffered increasing water stress for nearly 50 years, with inflows shrinking by 90 per cent since 1974, according to a Western Sydney University scientist.
Could Australia run out of water like Capetown in South Africa? One scientist has raised fears
Dr Ian Wright believes the ‘situation in Capetown’ is similar to Perth, which he says has suffered a reduction in inflows by nearly 90 per cent since 1974.
‘For it’s two million people the inflows equated to only 15.6 litres per person per day, yet in 2015/6 Perth residents consumed an average of nearly 350 litres per day, he wrote in The Conversation.
He discussed the city’s reliance on desalination and groundwater which is considered controversial and expensive.
Adelaide, Australia’s second most water stressed city, relies heavily on the Murray River (pictured)
Western Sydney University scientist Dr Ian Wright believes Capetown’s situation could be similar to Perth in Australia
‘Perth is the only Australian capital to rely so heavily on desalination and groundwater for its water supply,’ he wrote.
He said Australia’s next ‘most water-stressed’ capital is Adelaide and east coast cities have also experienced water stress.
But it is not all doom and gloom.
Lake Alexandrina in South Australia, a popular swimming late, has suffered the impact of drought
Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney have built large dams with massive storage capacity for residents, Dr Wright reassured readers in his article.
He said Brisbane’s storage capacity works out at one million litres per resident when storages are full, compared to just 225,000 litres per resident in Capetown.
‘Capetown is constructing a number of small desalination plants while anxiously waiting for the onset of the region’s formerly regular winter rains,’ he said.
The storage capacity in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney may help save Australia from a Capetown-like disaster – pictured is a dry landscape near the town of Louth in New South Wales