As we move towards an oil shortage, we have to consider what is happening to our infrastructure and what is going to happen to our communities as a result.
For example, we are seeing oil pipelines in our community, but these pipelines have not been designed to withstand a large amount of pressure.
So what does this mean for the water and gas industry?
As a result of the oil spill in Northern Australia, the oil companies are using a system of hydraulic valves that are designed to prevent the oil from leaking from the pipeline.
The valves are designed so they don’t pressurise the oil.
However, when the oil is released, the valves are released and the pressure in the oil pipe increases.
If this pressure rises and the valve fails, the valve can also release the oil and then the pressure can be released again.
The oil pipe then leaks.
So it becomes a problem.
And so we have these large piping systems in the North East of the country that are being breached and ruptured, causing a lot of damage and a lot, unfortunately, of loss of life and property in communities.
And so what are the implications of this for the communities in that area?
The community has to take responsibility for that, because we are using these large infrastructure pipes to provide water to our people and we are paying for that by the amount of money that we are going to spend on these pipes.
It is important for us to recognise that, if we have a spill like the one that happened in Northern New South Wales, that the water system will fail and that will lead to a significant amount of damage.
What we are looking at is a system that is designed to be more than just a safety valve, and it is not designed to operate as a safety device.
We have to think about the safety of this system and the system that we have at the moment.
How do we prevent this from happening?
First, we need to have the infrastructure in place to respond in a timely manner to the events that occur.
We have to have adequate emergency response capability, and we need a plan for emergency response.
Then, we also need to understand that we need the communities to come together to plan how we are moving forward in terms of the use of the infrastructure that we use.
That includes, for example, the ability to plan and implement an effective response to the incident in Northern NSW.
We are also looking at how we can be more transparent about what we do and what we are doing in relation to our oil spill and the use in the area.
Finally, we should not be relying on the private sector to provide the water supply.
At the moment, there is a huge amount of private investment in the region, and there are a number of other communities in the basin that are reliant on private investment for their water supply, and they need to be informed of what is at stake, so that they can make the best decisions about how to proceed.
But what are our options?
We need to recognise, first and foremost, that there are no easy answers, and that there is going the risk of a situation that we cannot avoid.
We cannot afford to wait for an oil spill to occur and that we can only recover after we have had an oil disaster, and so we need all the information and support that we possibly can get, to make the right decisions in the coming months and years.
A version of this article first appeared on the ABC News website.