Water Supply

In areas of the world prone to drought and flooding, such as Queensland and California, climate change is having a profound impact on water resources. According to the Australian Government National Water Commission:

With our naturally variable rainfall and existing water resource management challenges, climate change will have a significant impact our water availablity.

Climate change projections indicate that we can expect:

  • increased temperatures
  • reduced rainfall across eastern and far south west Australia
  • increased rainfall variability
  • increased evaporation
  • significantly increased frequency and severity of drought
  • changes in the frequency of extreme weather events, including flooding.


The Queensland Government Office of Climate Change is exploring options for diversification of water supply resources as a  the key to successful climate adaptation.

Emerging from the longest drought on record, Queenslanders know that water supplies are precious. In the future, Queensland is likely to experience continuing pressure on water resources as a result of longer and possibly more intense droughts, coupled with other pressures such as long-term population growth.

The Queensland Government has already invested heavily in water security policies and infrastructure in recent years-including the South East Queensland Water Grid, regional water supply strategies, water conservation measures, water recycling and desalination plants.

Further adaptation action for water management may include:

  • diversifying sources, including stormwater, groundwater, and recycled water
  • dealing with post-flood community perceptions about water availability
  • implementing measures to minimise evaporation.