Late last year, I questioned why climate change activists and environmentalists refuse to question the planned reboot of the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy, which will place increasing strain on Australia’s natural environment and make meeting the nation’s “zero net” emissions commitments by 2050 and impossible goal:
While Australia’s emissions depend on many factors – including our energy use patterns, exports, and how we live – nobody can deny the fact that Australia’s high population growth (immigration) policy will make it next to impossible to meet our targets nor safeguard Australia’s environment.
Population multiplied by units of consumption equals total environment impact. It’s not rocket science. Yet population growth is rarely questioned by environmentalists…
Environmental groups need to stop the hypocrisy and confront Australia’s population addiction head on, since it is a direct driver of our environmental malaise.
Sadly, their cognitive dissonance and concerns of being labelled ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’ means that extreme immigration-driven population growth is rarely questioned. This has given the growth lobby free rein to direct policy makers as they see fit.
The very same arguments can be levelled at Australia’s water security, which will be placed under increasing strain as Australia’s population swells by a projected 13.1 million people (a 50% increase) over the next 40 years on the back of extreme immigration levels of 235,000 people a year (charts from the Intergenerational Report):
A new report from the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, summarised in the Herald-Sun, suggests Melbourne could run short of water by the end of this decade as its population swells to 6 million people and then beyond:
A report from Victorian Auditor-General’s Office shows that as the state’s population grows, there will be immense pressure on dams and other stocks of drinking water.
It warns that in 2028 the demand on water for metropolitan Melbourne could outweigh availability unless more is done to take pressure off supply…
“The Victorian Government estimates that the demand for water could exceed our supply in some areas of Victoria as early as this decade due to population growth and climate change,” VAGO wrote.
“To prevent this, the water sector must take further action to increase our water supply and efficiency.
A veritable conga-line of reports released over recent years have warned that Australia faces chronic water shortages as its population swells.
For example, the Productivity Commission in March 2021 warned that the projected 11 million population increase across Australia’s cities “present significant risks to the security of Australia’s water resources”:
Looking ahead, climate change and population growth present significant risks to the security of Australia’s water resources. Drought conditions are likely to become more frequent, severe and prolonged in some regions. Higher anticipated demand from a growing population, alongside reductions in supply, will increase water scarcity and put further pressure on all users (including the environment)…
Australian cities have been growing rapidly and are expected to continue to grow in the long term… By 2050 an additional 11 million people are expected to live in capital cities, and almost half (45 per cent) of all Australians will live in Sydney and Melbourne (up from 41 per cent in 2019) (ABS 2018, 2019c). Notably — with the exception of Darwin — all of Australia’s capital cities are located in southern or eastern parts of Australia, which are regions likely to see future declines in water availability as the climate changes.
In major cities where readily-available supply sources have already been accessed, ongoing population growth is likely to create significant pressure on water supplies. Major supply augmentations will often be needed. Scenarios developed for Melbourne, for example, include a worst case of demand outstripping supply by around 2028…
A draft strategy on Sydney’s future water supply, released in September, warned that Greater Sydney will need up to 70 gigalitres more water in 20 years time if it continues to grow at its present rate. The strategy forecasts that Sydney could be looking at a 13% shortfall in its water supply if its rate of growth is maintained and climate change makes rainfall less predictable. Increased desalination is one way by which Sydney could make up the predicted shortfall:
“A secure water supply is vital and this plan ensures we are able to support economic growth as we recover from the pandemic and set the foundations for the future,” the state’s water minister, Melinda Pavey said.
“We need to plan now for how our growing city and region will use water wisely as Sydney’s population is set to grow to 7.1 million by 2041. During the most recent drought, our dam levels depleted faster than we’ve experienced since records began – at a rate of 20% per year”.
In 2018, Dr Jonathan Sobels – a senior research fellow at the University of South Australia and the author of a key 2010 report prepared for the Department of Immigration (quoted below) warned that Australia’s water security is being placed at risk from endless mass immigration:
…We are coming up towards physical limitations within our physical, built and natural environments that will lead to compromises in the quality of our life…
Not only are the dams not filling, but the ground water supplies are not filling. The only option you have open to you is water efficiency use and whacking up desal plants. But if your population keeps increasing at the rates we have seen in recent times, you won’t be able to afford putting up billion dollar desal plants, which also have their environmental impacts…
The same 2010 report prepared for the Department of Immigration, entitled Long-term physical implications of net overseas migration: Australia in 2050, warned that high net overseas migration will guarantee water supply problems:
Decreased urban water supply is a significant environmental constraint exacerbated by higher levels of NOM. Modelling shows the vulnerability of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to deficits in water supply, on a NOM strategy of 260,000 pa.: a view strongly supported by empirical review of State Government reports…
Only NOM levels of 50,000 pa or less result in Melbourne and Sydney maintaining a small surplus of net surface supply over demand on average out to 2050, assuming current climate conditions persist. Potential options to alleviate water stress at high NOM levels over the longer term may be hard to find.
While it is possible to boost water supplies via technologies like desalination and recycling, these solutions are far more expensive than traditional water storages:
Accordingly, household water bills will rise dramatically, which will adversely impact lower income households in particular.
In fact, modelling by Infrastructure Australia in 2017 projected that household water bills would more than quadruple in real terms because of population growth and climate change, rising from $1,226 in 2017 to $6,000 in 2067. The report also warned that “the impact of these changes on household affordability could be substantial… and could lead to significant hardship”:
The problems around water is another example of how running a mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy wrecks living standards of the working class.
The additional 13.1 million additional people projected by the Intergenerational Report will massively increase Australia’s water demand at the same time as supply is reduced from lower rainfall and rising evapotranspiration rates due to climate change.
Therefore, the best and cheapest thing our policy makers can do to safeguard the nation’s water supplies is ensure that immigration does not return to its manic pre-COVID level, nor is raised to the insane levels demanded by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, KPMG and the various business lobbies.
It’s time to cut through the bullshit: Australia’s mass immigration policy is the key threat to Australia’s water security. It’s time to talk honestly about the issue and to start factoring in the huge costs of immigration.