Sunday, November 26, 2006



So just how bad has the half-decade long drought become in some farming districts of country Australia?

Beyond Belief.

Thieves are now stealing water, along with deisel fuel and cattle.

From the Sydney Morning Herald :

Water has become so precious in drought-stricken NSW that thieves are siphoning off thousands of litres from farm dams and rainwater tanks.

The dramatic rise in water theft comes after a black market boom in diesel fuel and stolen livestock.

"Water theft is definitely on the increase," said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw.

"These are desperate times and there are opportunists who are taking desperate measures."

Two months ago, water theft barely rated a mention in police crime statistics. But Mr Bradshaw, whose command covers two-thirds of the state, said drought has hit so hard many families are struggling to make ends meet.

Last month thieves got away with 20,000 litres of water from a farm in Manildra, near Orange.

...police intelligence officers believe water is being siphoned from dams in unlocked paddocks and tapped from rainwater tanks that were visible from roads.

University of New England rural crime researcher Elaine Barclay said irrigation companies had established teams to investigate water theft.

"Demand creates crime," she said. "Fuel theft on farms has been on the rise since the prices went up. Water is gold now, so it stands to reason."

Central Bank Says Drought Will Slow Australia's Economy

Drought Horror Changing Australians' Views On Global Warming Reality