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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
11 June 2003
Drought, flood, water restrictions, water recycling, water prices... how do these terms fit into the bigger picture of water resources and use in Australia? Why, for example, are many Australians experiencing water restrictions when Australia stores more water per person than any other country in the world? Why are the Murray and Snowy Rivers a shadow of their former selves? How much water do we actually have? And how much of that do we use?
The answers to these and many more questions are found on The Australian Water Map, launched today by the Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, who has Ministerial responsibility for the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.
“It is most appropriate that the Australian Water Map be released in this the International Year of Freshwater (IYFW). The focus of the IYFW is on protecting and respecting our valuable water resources, as individuals, communities, countries and as a global family of concerned citizens. Freshwater issues are on everyone’s lips at the moment, particularly for many Australians who are still being impacted on by the recent drought conditions. It is a sign of the Australian spirit that these same community groups are being involved a wide variety of activities to highlight the value of our freshwater resources in the IYFW.”
Nigel Murphy, a Director of Earth Systems and Project Director for The Australian Water Map, sees the map as a great way to visualise essential water information from around Australia. At the launch of the map today Mr Murphy said:
“If we are able to make good water management decisions, economic, environmental and social, we need to be armed with information that is factual, easily accessible and crosses the normal disciplinary boundaries. This is what The Australian Water Map is all about.”
The Australian Water Map contains 58 charts and tables and over 400 spatial sites related to key water facts and figures. The poster sized map (130 x 90 cm), was produced by Earth Systems Pty Ltd, an Australian environmental research and consulting group based in Melbourne, with Principal Support from Natural Heritage Trust, Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Water Association (AWA), and Major Support from Water Services Association of Australia, Department of Sustainability and Environment (Victoria), Brisbane Water, Pratt Water and University of Central Queensland.
Mr Peter Robinson Victorian President of the Australian Water Association (AWA) says The Australian Water Map brings together water-related data from a wide selection of disciplines, ranging from natural water resources and aquatic biodiversity to water use, storage and treatment.
The Map can be seen and purchased from www.earthsystems.com.au/map
Andrew Cox, Dr Stone’s Office 0408 057 226
Catherine Oke or Georgia Garrard, Earth Systems 03 9205 9515