“Day zero” approaches for drought affected towns

Regional communities across Australia are staring down the barrel of what authorities dub “day zero”:

Almost a dozen towns across regional New South Wales and southern Queensland are staring down the battle of a crisis that’s been dubbed “day zero”.

It describes the looming risk of running out of drinking water, as the ongoing drought continues to wreak havoc for tens of thousands of Australians in dry communities.

Local Government NSW president Linda Scott said a number of regional cities and towns are preparing for a day zero that’s less than 12 months away, with some expected to face it within three to six months.

“And in some areas, it’s probably a matter of weeks,” Ms Scott told news.com.au.

“This is very serious. Carting water in trucks for hundreds of kilometres on dirt roads is going to be the only way some councils can provide drinking water to locals”…

Towns at risk of running out of water are implementing emergency management protocols to extend current supplies as long as possible.

Apart from that, the immediate hope is that it rains sooner rather than later.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the past several months had seen below average rainfall for most of New South Wales and inland southern Queensland, with no reprieve in sight.

This harsh reality flies in the face of the federal government’s “migrants to the bush” policy, which aims to direct thousands of migrants to the regions to take the strain off the major cities.

How realistic is this policy when many regional centres are devoid of water and could not cope with extra demand, especially given much of Regional Australia is located far away from the ocean and water desalination is not available.

Water scarcity remains the inconvenient truth Australia’s mass immigration spruikers continue to ignore.

Leith van Onselen


  1. Has anything actually happened with the ‘migrants to the bush’ policy? They trumpted it all around last year when we hit 25m, but haven’t heard, seen or smelt anything since.
    Did notice a bunch of middle eastern types in Wagga Wagga at Easter – maybe they are sending a few refugees to the regions? I guess those types are used to sustaining themselves without a lot of water.

    • She has “Dr” in her title which means she’s 100% correct.

      (Come on tax cows, stick your grubby hands in your pockets and build your esteemed guests some infrastructure!)

  2. blindjusticeMEMBER

    Drought of 1891 to 1903 reconstructed shows today’s conditions likely to have more devastating effects

    The ‘once in a century drought’, which went from 1891 to 1903, caused an ecosystem collapse affecting more than a third of the country.

    The drought was one of the world’s worst recorded ‘megadroughts’, which at its peak saw much of the country get less than 40 per cent of its annual rainfall, with 1902 the driest year on record.
    The CSIRO has conducted new research trying to reconstruct the drought. It did so by studying thousands of historical records and eyewitness accounts of the drought and combined that with rainfall records. It said that more than 60 bird, fish, mammal, reptile, and plant species were severely affected across more than a third of Australia’s land mass. CSIRO researcher Dr. Robert Godfree said that unsurprisingly, the drought lead to widespread economic depression, as well the challenges nature faced.

    “In New South Wales, most rivers stopped flowing and dust storms filled dams, buried homesteads and created ghost towns as people fled,” Dr Godfree said.

    — Did they just model the impact on wildlife? What about humans……yeah move the migrants to the bush….not even funny anymore. In our lifetimes there could be a real catastrophe and it wont be caused by climate change but by sheer population increase

  3. There’ll be someone from the LNP along anytime now to explain that ‘bigger pipes’ will solve the problem.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    What these towns need are a lot more people so that water infrastructure is built for them.

  5. Jolly Trollop 5

    Probably most spectacular is Sydney which will run out also in 12 to 24 months. Current dam levels sitting only slightly above 50%. Just keep on stuffing in more and more from the third world ….

  6. Lots of jobs will be affected as well, agricultural chemicals, machinary etc. This could be the catalyst for the recession or expedite it at least.

  7. Grew up in one of the towns mentioned in the maps above. Breaks my heart seeing this happen knowing people who will be impacted and also the flora and fauna. The whole elephant in the room in all this is that these are some of the poorer regions of the respective states, so no one really cares. Only when the taps are turned off in Sydney and Melbourne, then maybe more people will realise that our infrastructure can not outrun mass immigration.