Climate change adaptation and floods: Australia’s institutional arrangements
Author: Caroline Wenger
This paper examines the current policies and institutional arrangements in place to address flooding, and the types of reforms that would be required to reduce Australia’s vulnerability in the future. The current approach of flood management in Australia is ‘resilience’ and through federal leadership and funding, it has been adopted throughout the country, and promotes shared responsibility for disasters. While climate change adaptation is a stated rationale for resilience, it is not referred to in a number of key funding mechanisms and in most annual state implementation plans. At this early stage, it is difficult to determine whether the resilience approach enables effective adaptation to flooding. Floods are not merely disasters they are vital for Australia’s water security, and if managed well can replenish groundwater, restore ecosystems and boost economies. Australia needs to maximise these benefits while also minimizing adverse consequences. This case study – Climate change adaptation and floods contributed to a broader clmate change adaptation project available here.