The Economist has an excellent backgrounder on the serious drought in Australia and what they’re doing to mitigate it.
Dave Riley, who lives in Australia, details the severity of the drought and how recycling kitchen water has led to an herb garden in his backyard.
Wikipedia on the drought
Prime Minister John Howard announced on 19 April 2007 that unless substantial rain occurs in the next six weeks no water will be allocated to irrigators in the Murray-Darling basin for the coming year. The result of this would be “catastrophic” for farmers and the economy and the price of food would significantly rise. Electricity shortages are also likely if the Snowy Mountains Scheme is forced to shut down its hydroelectric generators.
The Australian government is being hugely proactive, doing whatever they can think of to help. A mega-drought is predicted for the American southwest, so it’s way past time for state and federal governments to get proactive here. A real good start would be to ban the building golf courses in deserts and to shut down existing courses.
As said here before, the only way to combat global warming is for governments to mandate the changes. Only they have the power to make it happen.