Challenges in Adapting Australian Water Resources and Infrastructure to Climate Change
Magazine article, 2010
There is widespread agreement amongst the international
scientific community that climate change is occurring, that it is largely manmade and that it will have significant implications for humanity. Climate change poses major problems for many sectors, such that there is now growing awareness of the need to adapt in order to minimise the negative impacts and exploit possible future benefits under a changed climate. To assist in defining Australia’s climate change adaptation research agenda for the water sector, a comprehensive review was undertaken as part of the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure (ACCARNSI)— one of the eight thematic research networks under the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) (www.nccarf.edu.au).
This review seeks to outline a range of critical knowledge
gaps and future research priority areas for the water sector. It is suggested that future research effort in these key areas would assist the water industry in formulating effective water infrastructure and water security adaptation responses. Given the extensive range of potential climate change impacts on water resources, the research potential in this field is known to be almost limitless (USEPA, 2008). Consequently, this review provides a high-level overview of suggested ‘priority’ research needs and by no means represents an exhaustive list of all current challenges and future research needs for water sector adaptation.