Professor Alison Specht will deliver the second part of the talk on Water Resources on the 21st century.
Professor Alison Specht will deliver the second part of the talk on Water Resources on the 21st century.

Don't water down this issue

IT HAS never been a better time to dive into the topical issue of Australia's water future.

Southern Cross University is running a free public seminar on how current and future water supplies can be directed in an ecologically responsible way.

“Water resources in the 21st century” aims to explore the increasingly controversial global and local issues around this precious natural resource and will be a two-part seminar with presentations by two academics from Southern Cross University's School of Environmental Science and Management.

Associate Professor Caroline Sullivan will present “Global water resources”, which will explore the present state and future prospects of water resources.

“There is little doubt that there is plenty of water in the world, but only about 2.5 per cent of it is fresh water, much of which is held in polar ice caps or inaccessible aquifers,” Professor Sullivan said.

Part two is entitled “Bringing the global to the local” and will be presented by Associate Professor Alison Specht, who will explore the environmental consideration of meeting our increasing water demand under a changing climate.

Professor Specht agreed that water would continue to be a contentious issue. “Water and its scarcity has been on the national agenda for many years, with particular focus on the Murray Darling system,” she said.

“But recently, as south-east Queensland suffered under one of the worst droughts in history, water has no longer been seen as abundant, but as a limited resource.

“Since then we have seen the Queensland government undertake a range of water conservation measures, as well as initiate plans for dams, pipeline projects, groundwater extraction and desalinisation, but we know very little about the effects these measures might have on our ecosystems.

“I will be talking about our understanding of the water requirements of these ecosystems, what we know and what we don't know, and how we can apply this to our decision making.”

The talk will be presented on Wednesday, October 28 at SCU's Riverside campus in Brett Street, Tweed Heads. To attend email esm@scu.edu.au or call (02) 6620 3650.



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