The 'Quiet' Drought That Has Snuck Up On Our Doorstep

Ten Daily   
By: Emma Brancatisano and Taylor Denny
Photo: By Justin Scott

Original content from Ten Daily.

Lynette Keneally is trying to peer through a crystal ball with a huge crack in it.

Every morning, she pulls on her boots -- slightly later now, being a mother of two -- to tend to her fruit trees, always thinking six, seven or eight years ahead. Her husband, a truck driver, works overnight to make ends meet.

But it’s all guesswork, because she has run out of water.

“I can see the rain clouds. I can smell them. But they're just not forming,” Keneally tells ten daily, from her Oakland property in the Wollondilly Shire, on Sydney’s south-western fringe.

Fifteen minutes up the road, Gavin Moore points out the city skyline from the highest hill on his family-run dairy farm. Milk is just an hour door-to-door to Sydney “as the crow flies”.

But this once-green picture is practically bare, the ground beneath the once green hills cracked, dams drained empty and farmers’ hands left calloused -- with many on the brink of breaking point.
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