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Thread: A dry future.

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default A dry future.

    [color=indigo:3f3579be73][b:3f3579be73]More droughts seen on horizon[/b:3f3579be73][/color:3f3579be73]
    11 April 2006
    By STAN DARLING

    Talks on the potentially catastrophic rise in droughts predicted in New Zealand this century were held in Christchurch yesterday. Severe droughts are forecast to increase by two to four times, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

    "So the sort of drought we now get once every 20 years in the east of the country might occur once every five years or so towards the end of the coming century," said Dr David Wratt, chairman of the Royal Society's New Zealand Climate Committee. Wratt said New Zealand was likely to move towards more droughts in the east, particularly in Canterbury, Marlborough, Otago and the east coast of the North Island.

    "The meeting was held to get information out about the way drought may change under a changing climate and help people to start thinking through some of the ways of adapting to that," he said. The meeting was attended by about 60 local and central government officials, farmers and scientists. "Communication between scientists, farmers and local government is important so everybody understands what the situation is ... we are building on a lot of skills and expertise," Wratt said. "This isn't about trying to frighten people with big, shock, horror stories, it's really about getting information out there and helping people to start thinking about how to deal with it."

    Marlborough farmer Doug Avery was "challenged right to the guts" when he realised his property was in the grip of what seemed a never-ending drought. He had finally worked out how to cope with his Grassmere property. "If you have a flood, you get support the next day," he said. "With a drought, people say they're sorry, but they don't help you." He held up a large moa bone he found at his property "when I started digging for water like a fox terrier. You can't change your system unless you understand the problem is really sticking around," said Avery, who reduced stock levels and planted much of his farm in lucerne. I shook the boat out from the bottom to the top, changed everything. Mentally and financially, we were challenged to the limit ? and so was the environment."

    Katie Nimmo, the New Zealand Landcare Trust's social science research co-ordinator, has been working with Avery and other southern Marlborough farmers. "A phrase commonly used by some farmers was they went into hibernation," she said. "They turned inwards and dropped out of normal participation in the community. They needed to put in place a strategy for working together, to keep talking to each other no matter what."

    Gavin Kenny, a climate specialist, said the area of the world prone to drought had more than doubled since 1970. Reports treating climate change as a hazard did not help, said Kenny. It made people feel they had no power over problems such as drought. "I want to talk about the political climate as well," said Chris Bolderston, an Ashburton dairy farmer. "They go hand in hand."
    Mother Bear

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    ExPat is offline Member
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    Default A dry future.

    Droughts? You've got to be kidding. New Zealand is an ISLAND surrounded by WATER!

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    Default A dry future.

    So is the UK and they have droughts there from time to time, believe it or not. Not for long, admittedly, but it can happen where a country is so used to having plenty of rain that it doesn't provide sufficient storage facilities for the occasional times of need.

    If NZ was to utilise its sea water, it would have to build desalination plants which are very expensive to run.
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    Default A dry future.

    [quote:2b66a5fb4d="Mother Bear"]So is the UK and they have droughts there from time to time, believe it or not. Not for long,[/quote:2b66a5fb4d]

    The south of England allready have a hose ban in place due to the drought it is having and yes it is only just turned spring!

    A few years back there was a 3 year long drought when the reservoirs ran dry. I remember seeing the pictures of people walking down the streets of the villages that were flooded when they were created.

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