‘I don’t know how we come back from this’: Australia’s big dry sucks life from once-proud towns

Guardian Australia reports from three communities hard hit by one of the worst droughts in living memory

Australia is experiencing one of its most severe droughts on record, resulting in desperate water shortages across large parts of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Dams in some parts of western NSW have all but dried up, with rainfall levels through the winter in the lowest 10% of historical records in some areas.

The crisis in the far west of the state became unavoidable after the mass fish kills along the lower Darling River last summer, but now much bigger towns closer to the coast, including Dubbo, are also running out of water.

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‘I don’t know how we come back from this’: Australia’s big dry sucks life from once-proud towns