Australia is one of the driest continents in the world. This condition informs policies concerning water; various governmental and non-governmental institutions have teamed up to face the challenges facing people as far as water is concerned. The organizations have joined hands to lobby the government and town councils to control and regulate water usage by industries. Available water is utilized keenly by recycling used water for irrigation. The organizations ensure that drinking water is clean and safe by setting standards that must be met by suppliers and manufacturers.
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Each state has its own supply regulatory body so the suppliers need not depend on the national government to offer directives. This encourages easy access to water. The local authorities can come up with their plans to improve water supply in their specific regions. This has led to the efficient utilization of water, consumers can feel and enjoy water consistency and transparency in the sector. This paper attempts to analyze how two authorities in government have managed to solve water problems. It also gives their views on what should be done to improve or maintain the water supply. The paper finally summarizes which government political institutions are concerned for particular actions and how the institutions will go about solving identified problems.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry- Australia and Environment Australia, Submission 53
The department surveyed on 5 April 2001 under instructions from the senate. The committee was established to oversee the exercise and it was interested in water shortages. It was answering the question ‘why water shortages in Australia’. The findings were reported back to the senate and actions are underway. It was found that the urban landscape affects the water cycle in one way or another. This is because of industries and poor sewerage facilities that cause water pollution. Even though little water evaporates from the earth’s surface, only little is fresh. The many glasses of water found in lakes are not safe and clean for domestic use. It should first be purified. The committee established that as water flows to oceans and seas, it is purified through natural means. Trees and vegetation are important in water recycling and purification. It then follows that forests should be preserved if natural water purification processes are to occur.
The committee noted further that cities and urban areas interfere with the natural water cycle through the destruction of the carbon cycle. Urban developments such as natural landscapes affect the water measures that enter the ground and its movement to the earth’s surface. The materials contained in the water are also altered by manmade constructions. The human developments also affect marine life, which further changes ecological integrity. The committee concluded by noting that water shortages are caused mainly by improper irrigation methods and inefficient usage of water (Humphreys, 2002, p. 1-13)
Collins Charters and John Williams: Can Australia Overcome its Scarcity Problems?
The two scholars discuss the challenges facing Australians including water shortages. The paper argues that even though Australia has a good water source, the human population around waterbeds is a challenge. Agricultural activities are practiced around riverbanks, which might cause dryness at any time. Other challenges to sustained water access are climate change and variability. It is expected that positive climatic change will increase water sources while the reverse is true. Climate change has been brought about by a change in vegetation and land use. Agriculture is being exercised without considering scientific researches that would help reduce global warming. All this is blamed on state and Territory governments that have failed to control unnecessary water usage (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, n.d.).
The researchers conclude their topic by suggesting that the government should urgent measures to suit the growing population with water needs. They suggest one of the ways that would facilitate the proper use of water, which providing incentives to those who utilize it effectively. The government should embrace technology by introducing cheaper ways of waste treatment and recycling used water. Wastages resulting from leaks should be fully dealt with by establishing computerized water supply services. The country suffers from storage and conveyance of water. This should be checked immediately by constructing storage facilities and installing correct distribution gadgets respectively (Miragliotta, 2010).
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The Civil Service
The public service is charged with the responsibility of implementing public policy. They are also supposed to advise the political class on the issues affecting people. They are therefore required to maintain constant research and report their findings to the cabinet for approval and the next course of action. For them to do this, they should be accountable and neutral in their findings. Their data should not be biased or represent individual interests. Civil servants must maintain a professional code of conduct in service delivery. They must be imbued to service delivery meaning they should be listening and caring. Civil servants who are indifferent to the sufferings of people should be sanctioned (Prasser, 2007, p. 34).
The cabinet has a prime role in ensuring that day-to-day activities of the government are performed. The cabinet is the hand of the government because it draws budget estimates for ministries. Every minister presents his/her estimates to the treasury. The cabinet should come up with clear policies that will ensure that problems associated with water shortages are done away with. The ministers need to coordinate activities and consolidate support to face the challenges head-on (Singleton and Jinks, 2003, p. 25)
The judiciary is charged with arbitration between either individuals or bodies. There is a conflict between human beings and the environment. It is the prowess of the judiciary to interpret the constitution to solve the dispute. The major causes of water shortages are a human interruption to the environment. The constitution is always all-inclusive; it defines the relationship between nature and human beings. The judges are therefore expected to be impartial in their ruling. The matters of nature/environment are so complex hence; competence among judges is inevitable if nature is to be preserved without compromise. Sometimes it calls for the services of the high court. The court arbitrates on cases that are beyond ordinary cases such as electoral disputes.
The legislature is the representative of the people in government. It exists to fight for the rights of citizens. Water is one of the basic needs. The legislature should force the government to engage available machinery to preserve nature. Democracy would not be attained if some people do not access basic commodities. Lawson water preservation should not be delayed in parliament. Legislatures should rise to the occasion to ensure that their constituents access water easily. As many scholars have observed, water is life, and tempering with water is tempering with human life (Miragliotta 36).
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, (2005) Australia, and Environment Australia, Submission, 54, p. 13. (For a more detailed discussion of policies and standards, see Chapter 6).
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, (n.d.) Submission in Response to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Australia’s Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties System, Web.
Humphreys, R. (2002) Increasing water productivity in irrigated rice systems in Australia: institutions and policies, Rice Science, Innovations and impact for livelihoods. Proceedings of international Rice Research Conference, Beijing, China, 16-19, 2002.
Miragliotta, E. (2010) The Australian Political System in Action, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2010.
Prasser, C. (2007) ‘Rolling out the regional pork barrel: A threat to democracy?’ Democratic Audit Discussion Paper, vol. 22.
Singleton, A. & Jinks, W. (2003) Australian Political Institutions, Frenchs Forest : Pearson Education.