Key Findings: Drought and the Future of Rural Communities: Drought Impacts and Adaptation in Regional Victoria, Australia

Authors: Anthony S Kiem, Louise E Askew, Meg Sherval, Danielle C. Verdon-Kidd, Craig Clifton, Emma Austin, Pauline M. McGuirk and Helen Berry
Year: 2010

This factsheet presents the key findings of a project conducted to understand adaptation lessons from the Big Dry, or Millennium Drought that affected rural communities such as Mildura and Donald (both in Victoria) from the mid-1990s. This case study found that there is more failure than success in terms of managing drought in Australia, particularly relating to drought and water policy and ensuring that rural communities receive the support they need. Although the research revealed that most farmers were doing ok it is clear that significant improvement is needed in terms of water policy and drought adaptation strategies to ensure the future of rural communities. The factsheet contains further information on the scale of the disaster, the impacts of the events, adaptation during and after the events, vulnerability pre and post the event, the successes and failures of the events management, and lessons learnt. This study is one of a suite of Historical Case Studies of Extreme Events conducted under Phase 1 of the NCCARF Synthesis and Integrative Research Program to examine present-day management of climate variability and the lessons that can be learnt for adaptation to future climate change.

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