Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Region. Floods and population increases

Devastating floods are a reminder communities need to factor in land use changes and urban growth when planning for both droughts and floods, said Associate Professor Basant Maheshwar, a hydrologist at the University of Western Sydney. Population increases in the Western Sydney, and other peri-urban zones around Australia, will create challenges beyond increased demands for services and greater stress on local water catchments during times of drought, he said. For the past five years, Professor Maheshwari has been leading a team studying the water cycle and catchment area of South Creek, which has large tracts of undeveloped bush and farmland but is also an epicentre of massive urban growth. Almost 400,000 Sydneysiders live and work in the South Creek Catchment, which covers 625 square kilometres and stretches from Narellan in the south to Windsor in the north. In the next 25 to 30 years the population is expected to almost double.