Who has it better, Australia or Nigeria? By Sophie Blades

Water is essential for every living thing on Earth, meaning the management of it across the world is just as crucial. Water, once an abundant natural resource, is becoming a more valuable commodity due to droughts and overuse.

Where is the water supplied from?

In Australia, Water NSW manages a group of dams and supply Sydney with raw water. A very well-known dam which provides Sydney with 80% of it’s water is Warragamba Dam. Warragamba Dam was opened in 1960 and is still fully functioning today. Nigeria’s major water supplies are from Abuja and Lagos. Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and receives part of it’s drinking water from the Usuma dam and the Guara dam, which is expected to further increase it’s water supply to Abuja within the next 5 years. Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and is surrounded by water from the sea. It’s clean water supply is approximately 73.3% but since the raw water in parts is too polluted, the city receives is water from the Ogun Riner and Owo River.

How is the quality of the water?

Nigeria is the most densely inhabited country in Africa with a population of more than 174 million people, which is growing rapidly. Approximately 57 million people in Nigeria do not have access to safe water. Around 45,000 children under 5 years old die every year from diarrhoea due to unsafe water and poor sanitation. There are few water treatment plants and companies including the Lagos Water Corporation. This corporation states the water in their plant supplies “safe drinking water in sufficient quantity to over 12.5 million people in Lagos state”. Most would go against this and argue that the water is often unhealthy. On the other hand, drinking water quality in Australia is high by world standards, considering that globally around one billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water. Australia is very lucky to have several dams and catchment protections which made the raw water of higher quality. The water is often well cared for and thorough management strategies and outcomes are taken very seriously. These include pest and weed control which is managed by educating farmers and blocking off goats, pigs and feral cattle with gating, grants and funding farmers to fence creeks and install water troughs, creating less erosion and sediment, hazard reduction burns and many more examples. In Warragamba Dam, the water is monitored to check if there are pathogens in the water, and to make sure the water doesn’t have too much sediment and work out how much salt to avoid corrosion and conductivity.

Who has responsibility for the water and water management programs?

In Nigeria there are three levels of government, same as Australia, who manage their water. The Federal Government is in charge of water resources management, the State Government have the responsibility for urban water supply and the Local Government in addition to communities are responsible for rural water supply and sanitation facilities in their area. There are also some communities in rural areas where water and sanitation committees have been formed to operate and maintain water facilities. Nigeria’s Water and Sanitation sector’s civil society is in the process of implementing initiatives to address the dangerous of dissatisfactory sanitation in Nigeria. There are four levels of water management in Australia. This includes local, regional, state/territory and national. These different levels all have differentiating roles including construction and management of water management supplies and facilities, water treatment, water testing and so on.

water usage in Nigeria
water usage in Australia

Use of water in agriculture and other needs

In Australia, land use in Sydney's catchments is divided into several groups. These include Livestock and grazing (35%), Conservation Area (28%), Horticulture Mining and Quarries (13%), Forestry (4%), Rural and Urban Residential Areas (3%), Minimal Land use (17%) and 54% is privately owned. The water in these catchments is used for many purposes such as agriculture, manufacture, mining, leisure etc. In 2009–10, the Agriculture industry was by far the largest consumer of water, accounting for 52% of total water consumption in that year. The Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry and Household sector were the next highest (14% each), followed by the Manufacturing industry (5%). According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Nigeria uses approximately 10% of its freshwater for industrial purposes. The average world wide is around 20%, meaning Nigeria is greatly below the world average in industry water usage. Nigeria also uses most of it’s water in agriculture, resulting to approximately 69% which industrial use at 10% and domestic use at around 21%.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.