Drought is a natural part of the Australian landscape. With one of the most changing rainfall climates in the world, severe drought affects some part of Australia about once every 18 years. Breaks between severe droughts have varied from four to 38 years and the impacts of climate change will mean more prolonged dry periods, particularly in internal areas of NSW.
The 2000s drought in Australia or the Millennium Drought, also known as the Millennium drought is said by some to be the worst drought recorded since European settlement.
This drought affected most of Southern Australia, including its largest cities and largest agricultural region (the Murray darling basin). It commenced with low rainfall conditions in late 1996 and through 1997, and worsened through especiallydry years in 2001 and 2002. By 2003 it was recognised as the worst drought on record.
The year 2006 was the driest on record for many parts of the country and conditions remained hot and dry through to early 2010. The emergence of la Nina weather conditions in 2010 rapidly ended the drought, and led to floods in some locations.
The drought placed extreme pressure on agricultural production and urban water supply in much of southern Australia. It has led to the construction of six major seawater desalination plants to provide water to Australia’s major cities, and to changes in the management of water in the Murray–Darling basin, particularly the formation of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.
February 25 2020 was the latest flood in Australia, this flood took place in Queensland.
In the middle of the night on 24 June 1852, a fatal flood swept through the New South Wales town of Gundagai. The water rose quickly to become a raging torrent that swept whole buildings away.
Between 80 and 100 people died, and the disaster remains the deadliest flood in Australia’s recorded history. The death toll would have much higher if not for the heroic efforts of local Wiradjuri men who rescued 69 people clinging for their lives in trees.