Australia's most populous state entirely in drought

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 10, 2018

Farming communities are now facing the prospect of running out of water as the worst drought in living memory shows no sign of letting up.

Mr Blair said the extended forecast was dire, with drier than normal conditions expected for at least the next three months across the majority of the state.

According to the Department of Primary Industries, 61 per cent of NSW is either in drought or intense drought, while almost 39 per cent is drought affected. It was officially listed as "100% in drought" on Wednesday.

Less than 10 millimeters of rain fell in the state in July, the fifth-driest on record, putting further pressure on dwindling food supplies for cattle that can no longer graze on parched land.

"There isn't a person in the state that isn't hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities", Niall Blair, minister for primary industries, said in a statement.

Separately, the state government announced a $500 million emergency relief package last Monday, raising the state's total drought support to more than A$1 billion.

Farmers have told harrowing stories of failing crops, severe water shortages and being unable to feed livestock. "You turn up here because you've got to turn up".

Though Australia has long suffered from spells of drought, other parts of the world are now experiencing extreme weather which experts say is evidence of the Earth's changing climate.

More than half of neighbouring Queensland has also been hit, prompting Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister, to describe Australia as a "land of drought" at the weekend.

However, some have criticised the measure as "too little, too late" and too onerous to claim. Eligible households will able to apply for two payments of A$12,000 ($9,000) to help them get through the drought.

Earlier this year, meteorologists rated Australia as having a 50 per cent chance of experiencing an El Nino in its spring beginning in September.

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