What does the 2021 State of the Environment (SOE) Report say about water?

The long awaited 2021 State of the Environment (SOE) report from the Australian Department of Climate change, Energy, the Environment and Water (LIEEP DCCEE) has been publically released. The report on the national state of environment has been produced every five years since 1995. It assess every aspect of Australia’s environment and heritage, covering rivers, oceans, air, ice, land and urban areas.

The SOE currently rates the Assessment of Water supplies as poor. The water sources section of the report covers rainfall, surface water, groundwater and other sources.

The report discusses the challenge faced by urban centres across Australia with pressures of growing populations with increased water needs and an often declining reliability of existing water resources. The reports notes the growing necessity to utilise climate-resilient sources of water such as seawater desalination and recycled water, especially during dry periods.

The SOE finds that Climate change is compounding ongoing and past damage from land clearing, invasive species, pollution and urban expansion. The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are changing. Over the last five years, extreme events such as floods, droughts, wildfires, storms, and heatwaves have affected every part of Australia.

The Water section of the SOE report can be accessed on the DCCEEW website