“YOU’RE under five metres of water right now,” Barry Philp says. “Hard to imagine, isn’t it?” I look through the windshield of his four-wheel-drive. The sky is blue and empty and the land is dead flat.
We’re rattling along the gray clay bottom of Lake Menindee, several kilometres from its shore. Three years ago the lake was full. Together with surrounding lakes, it held five times the water in Sydney Harbor. Rainfall in the past three years is tracking lower than the worst on record. The lakebed is now bone dry.