A continuing drought in Australia has severely hit water supplies in many areas - including Melbourne and district, one of the worst affected.
A continuing drought in Australia has severely hit water supplies in many areas - including Melbourne and district, one of the worst affected. Water restrictions were in force there this week, but a state parliament row was building up as the opposition criticised the state government's lateness in imposing them.
At current usage levels this week, Melbourne had only about 80 days supply left.
The Yarra River, which flows through the city, was down to a trickle and fish were dying on the bare banks. In the Botanic Gardens, workmen were trying to save valuable trees by digging water-trenches around their roots, while householders were spending hundreds of dollars sinking bore-holes and reclaiming washing and bath water.
SYNOPSIS: Melbourne, in Australia's Victoria State, is one of the worst affected areas in the country's continuing summer drought. The Yarra River, which flows through the city, was down to a trickle this week - and dead fish littered its sun-dried banks.
Melbourne's beautiful Botanic Gardens were suffering too - an artificial lake there had all but dried up as water levels fell to about eighty days' supply, and officials were ready to evacuate the ducks if their puddle dried up completely. Water restrictions were in force, meanwhile, although in the state parliament the government faced criticism from the opposition for bringing them in too late.
Other drought measures in the Botanical Gardens included digging trenches around valuable trees, and filling them with water. In the suburbs, residents were spending hundreds of dollars in sinking boreholes, and reclaiming washing and bath water, while a Melbourne brewery was trucking in water from outside to cope with the increasing demand for beer during the hot, dry spell.