Australia’s most populous state entirely in drought

10 Août, 2018, 14:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • NSW drought

Farming communities are now facing the prospect of running out of water as the worst drought in living memory shows no sign of letting up. But the drought conditions in New South Wales state this year have been the driest and most widespread since 1965.

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, 61 per cent of NSW is either in drought or intense drought, while almost 39 per cent is drought affected. Young farmers under 35 are especially vulnerable to stress and negative effects of droughts, researchers at the University of Newcastle said in a recent study.

"This is tough. There isn't a person in the state that isn't hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities", NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said.

The state and federal governments have provided A$576m (£330m; $430m) in emergency relief funding.

Farmers have told harrowing stories of failing crops, severe water shortages and being unable to feed livestock.

In this June 4, 2018, photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, second right, looks at dry soil with farmers during a visit to Strathmore Farm near Trangie, 485 kilometers (300 miles) north west of Sydney. "You turn up here because you've got to turn up".

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"They are shooting their stock because they don't want them to suffer".

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left - this is the last thing any farmer needs at the moment", Blair said.

Much of Australia's southeast is struggling with drought.

Turnbull addressed those concerns on Monday, announcing relief measures for farmers including extra money for mental health support services. Nearly 20,000 eligible people are yet to apply for the grant.

"Now we are the land of droughts and flooding rains, we recognise that", he said.

Earlier this year, meteorologists rated Australia as having a 50 per cent chance of experiencing an El Nino in its spring beginning in September.

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