“Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 percent of its rainfall and one cause is almost certainly global warming. Similar losses have been experienced in eastern Australia and although the science is less certain it is probable that global warming is behind these losses too.
But by far the most dangerous trend is the declines in the flow of Australian rivers; it has fallen by around 70 percent in recent decades, so dams no longer fill even when it does rain. Growing evidence suggests that hotter soils caused directly by global warming have increased evaporation and transpiration and that the change is permanent.
I believe the first thing Australians need to do is to stop worrying about “the drought” – which is transient – and start talking about the new climate.”
Tim Flannery, New Scientist, 16 Jun 2007
(admin note: at July 2015 Australian dams are 68 to 97% full, apart from Perth and Adelaide)