Australia Sustainable Food, Environment, & Social Systems 2017

Blog site for the 2017 MSU study abroad program.

10-Anneka H.

Hi everyone, my name is Anneka! I’m from Tecumseh, Michigan which is a very small town near Ann Arbor. By the time we go to Australia, I’ll be entering my senior year at Michigan State. I’m studying environmental engineering, and I love dogs and citrus fruits. I have been obsessed with Australia since the day my mom and I played hooky when I was 14, and she took me to see the movie “Australia” with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. I think it’s the fascination with how far away it is and how it operates as an island that intrigues me. Plus, it’s beautiful! I’m so excited to say that my dreams of studying abroad there are coming true this summer. For my project, I’m really interested in how Australia obtains and maintains clean water for the country. Being such an arid climate, especially in the center of the country, I’m dying to learn about how much water they can use, what happens during droughts, etc.


Amgad Elmahdi Manager Water Resources Assessment Section , Australian Bureau of Meteorology, & Matthew Hardy Manager, Urban Water, Australian Bureau of Meteorology. (2017, March 22). The role of water in Australia’s uncertain future. Retrieved April 02, 2017, from

Worst drought in living memory. (2015, December 22). Retrieved April 02, 2017, from

Robertson, J., & Slezak, M. (2016, December 01). Great Barrier Reef progress report: We have to do better on water quality, says Australia. Retrieved April 02, 2017, from


Questions: How do Australians conserve water?

How is the quality of water here in Australia?

How is Australia trying to improve the source of water?




I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t missing Australia! The trip Down Under was an irreplaceable experience. Our travels took us all over 4 out of the 6 Australia states, learning about what Australians do to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives. My specific project focused on the water quantity of Australia, and how citizens managed to conserve water throughout the drought. I wanted to learn more about how they personally felt about using less water than other countries, especially the United States, and if they were concerned about the effects of climate change. My favorite site visits were the ones to Adelaide Desalination Plant and Western Treatment Plant. Desalination has brought a phenomenal alternative water source to Australia in the event that another long, hard drought occurs. I discovered that Australians are passionate about helping the environment, and conserving water especially. Water is very expensive there, and some even run their houses entirely on rainwater. I had such an amazing time learning about the ways Australia differs from the United States, and what we should incorporate into our lives!

Milla Milla Waterfall

Milla Milla Waterfall


Adelaide Desalination Plant


Sydney Opera House during Vivid

Links to learn about my journey:


International, I. A. (n.d.). Desalination. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from

Recent rainfall, drought and southern Australia’s long-term rainfall decline. (2015, April). Retrieved July 28, 2017, from

Prosser, I. P. (2011). Water: science and solutions for Australia. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO Publishing.

Tam, L. (2016, December 06). Learning from Australia’s “Millennium Drought”. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from

Western Treatment Plant. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2017, from


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