Drought, or a lack of new water replenishing our dwindling reserves, creates an ongoing issue of scarcity.
The demands of irrigated crop farming on groundwater are becoming increasingly intense as rainfall reduces and drought conditions ensue. The unpredictability of rains coming through, combined with new development occurring in water catchment areas, also means that the groundwater aquifers many communities rely on are not being sufficiently replenished.
In 2019 the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation reported at least nine remote communities and outstations were running out of water. A further twelve have reported poor quality drinking water as aquifers run low and the remaining supply becomes too salty to drink. In Yuendumu, one of the largest Aboriginal communities in Central Australia, the Northern Territory Government has stopped building new housing because there isn’t enough water in the dwindling aquifer to accommodate a growing population.
Mel Robson creates ceramic casts of the skeletons that have perished within drought ravaged geographies, mapping these locations by etching them directly onto bone. Lindy Brodie suggests how the devastation of drought can be interpreted as a form of biblical retribution for past wrongdoings. Jonathan World Peace Bush says no to the proposition of hydraulic fracturing sites being approved for the Tiwi Islands and the water scarcity these proposals could exacerbate. Winsome Jobling creates a memento mori series to climate changed landscapes, replacing snow globes with dust globes while dead mangroves engulf lush wetlands.