The issue of climate change impacts on local domestic water supplies has not yet been addressed by many climate campaigners. But as climate change impacts on water availability, it will increasingly also affect water quality.
New research by Friends of the Earth is revealing some localised impacts in Victoria which could have national ramifications. Of particular concern is the alteration to water quality, particularly in times of low environmental flows, which may be placing water consumers’ health at greater risk. It should be pointed out that flooding and heavy rainfall also severely test water authorities abilities to provide safe drinking water, however issues associated with flooding have not been covered in this short article. Substantial investment will be required for many regional drinking water treatment plants to respond to the problems of deteriorating water quality.
There is a report, which looks into water quality issues in Ballarat, Bendigo, Hamilton and the Wimmera, available here.