Australia’s largest city fears water shortages due to floods

(ORDO NEWS) — The city’s water treatment facilities are working at their limit after heavy rains.

Australia’s largest city, Sydney, may face a shortage of drinking water, as only 25% of the watershed of the dam on the Warragamba River was recognized as safe for health.

The Warragamba Dam remains the largest of five reservoirs providing water to the five million people in Sydney and its suburbs.

The water quality in the reservoir has fallen after powerful floods in the south-east of the country, according to the resource supplying organization Sydney Water.

“Currently we only have a narrow section of about 15 meters of the available 60 meters of the Warragamba dam that is suitable for processing and treatment,” said Ben Blaney, head of Sydney Water’s water supply and production department.

Stuart Hahn, Director of the School of Engineering at the University of New South Wales, explained that the Warragamba drainage basin was damaged during the 2019-2020 bushfires, when a lot of ash fell into it, and the soil was eroded due to the burning of vegetation. After that, a lot of dirt began to get into the water.

In addition, three dams in New South Wales – Avon, Blowing and Rydal – remain closed to the public due to flood and rain damage, and three other watersheds have been placed on red alert due to blue-green algae blooms.

Potentially toxic blue-green algae can cause gastroenteritis, skin and eye irritation, as well as liver damage and other health problems.

After the floods from other states of Australia, there were more reports of E. coli and other pathogens found in the water.


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