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8 - Twenty-First Century Australian Cities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2022

Margaret Cook
Affiliation:
University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Lionel Frost
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Andrea Gaynor
Affiliation:
University of Western Australia, Perth
Jenny Gregory
Affiliation:
University of Western Australia, Perth
Ruth A. Morgan
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
Martin Shanahan
Affiliation:
University of South Australia
Peter Spearritt
Affiliation:
University of Queensland
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Summary

At the beginning of the new millennium, Australia's cities and their peri-urban and rural hinterlands were in the midst of a worsening drought. Having developed in the mid-1990s, the Millennium Drought finally broke in 2010, at least in south-eastern Australia. It was the most severe drought experienced in southern Australia since instrumental records began in the early twentieth century, thanks to a combination of natural variability and anthropogenic climate change. The urgency of water restrictions and supply augmentation that had characterised the drought years gave way to more pressing matters of the electoral cycle. As Australian cities continue to grow, it remains be seen as to whether plans to shape the urban form as a water catchment of its own materialise beyond model suburbs and local initiatives and what their implementation might mean for the water infrastructure and cultures of the past.

Type
Chapter
Information
Cities in a Sunburnt Country
Water and the Making of Urban Australia
, pp. 198 - 230
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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