While Australia’s climate is prone to droughts, the Millennium Drought was one of the worst in recorded history, with record low rainfalls resulting in significant falls in dam levels across urban centres.

Australia’s response demonstrated world-leading innovation and exceptional examples of water planning and management in responses to the threat of a water crisis. There were also many lessons learned and ideas generated about how to improve urban water planning.

Managing Drought: Learning from Australia synthesises the key lessons from the Australian Millennium Drought experience to identify opportunities for California, including: water efficiency programs; modular and scalable supply options; community engagement and communication; pricing mechanisms; and integrating long-term planning with short-term drought response.

This research was conducted by ISF, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Pacific Institute for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Water Research Foundation.

  • Download the report in English (executive summary also available in Portuguese).
  • Watch the report webinar (2 May 2016) with Professor Stuart White joining the Pacific Institute’s Heather Cooley and the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Mary Ann Dickinson.