Author(s): Shu-Qing Yang
Keywords: Coastal Reservoirs; Water Crisis; Murray-Darling River Basin; Stormwater Harvesting; Runoff
Abstract: In the world, human society only uses about 1/6 of the runoff, the remaining 5/6 of its rainwater has been discharged to the sea. In order to alleviate the global water stress, the conceptual strategy of coastal reservoir to harvest the stormwater has been proposed. Australia is the driest continent in the world on the whole, but a lot of the coastline is blessed with high annual rainfall, which leads to large amount of stormwater lost to the sea. Australian only manages to use 7.5% of its annual runoff, the lowest in the world. To diversify its water supply, it is suggested to harvest the stormwater using Coastal Reservoirs that are surrounded by seawater at the mouth of a river with sustainable river flow. This paper will discuss the feasibilities of coastal reservoirs to supply the 5 major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The currently existing inland reservoirs of these cities are well below capacity throughout the whole country, it indicates the influence of climate change -- further development of inland reservoirs may not be able to quench its thirsty. The potential problems of the proposed coastal reservoirs are identified, possible solutions are provided.