Lessons for California: How Australia Manages Water for the Environment

June 22, 2016

A new report co-authored by Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist Theodore Gratham hightlights key lessons learned by the Austrailian State of Victoria that may help guide how California adapts environmental water management to address future droughts.

Tools Could Reduce Harm to Ecosystems, Native Species During Drought

Drought management tools developed to sustain the environment during Australia’s recent decade-long drought are broadly applicable in California. They could help the state’s water managers reduce the devastating effects of water scarcity on native species and ecosystems.

These are among the key findings of a report released today by the PPIC Water Policy Center.

Both California and Victoria, Australia, are drought-prone states that face similar challenges in managing freshwater-dependent ecosystems and native species during dry times. Both states have experienced intense controversy over allocating water to meet environmental, agricultural, and urban needs.

However, while California’s environment has suffered greatly during the latest drought and many species have been pushed to the brink of extinction, Victoria’s water policies helped it avoid serious biological losses during an even longer drought. Victoria’s actions can be summarized in four lessons for California...

Read the full press release on Public Policy Institute of California