Menopausal Mother Nature

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A climate emergency: what happens when the taps run dry?

When Fleur Magick Dennis moved her family to Euchareena in July 2017, the dam that supplies the tiny village with water was full, the three local creeks were flowing and her four boys didn’t have to share bathwater.

“Everything was green,” the Wiradjuri woman remembers.

Fleur, 40, and her husband, Laurance, 47 — known as Locky — picked their home in central New South Wales to keep their children away from the ghettoised estates of nearby towns.

But within 12 months, drought had bitten so hard that the dam the kids used to cool off was almost empty. The town water supply — never drinkable, but usable for laundry, toilets and watering plants — was turned off.

For months there was no water coming from the taps. The rainwater tank, once used just for drinking water but now the only supply, was running low.

The family lives in a run-down rented property. Even if it does rain, “we end up with more water in the living room than we do in the tank”, Locky says.

The only option was to pay $450 for a water truck to drop 15,000 litres into the rainwater tank each month.