Researchers say Australia’s most important commodity is also one of the least talked-about, despite lives being on the line.

A new study says Australia’s water supply issues should be front-and-centre of the eco-political debate.

Australia is one of the world’s driest countries, but uses more water per capita than anyone else in the world.

As populations continue to increase, the risks to water supply and security grow too. Some authorities believe wars over water will break out internationally in coming years. 

Industrial researchers at Arup Australasia say Australia’s agricultural sector consumes about 65 per cent of the total water used; a figure set to skyrocket along with rises in global meat consumption.

Arup says there are a number of factors the country will have to face.

Looking at the type of crops grown and in which area could highlight some needed changes, as well as investigations in the best types of stock for the local environment, the group says.

Arup’s full report – The Future of Urban Water – is accessible online.