Living with Climate Change: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Factsheets for Australia: Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity
This factsheet provides a short summary of the potential climate change impacts on Australia’s water resources and freshwater biodiversity. Climate variability is a strong driver of water availability and freshwater biodiversity, with interdecadal ENSO patterns particularly important. Climate models mostly sowing overall drying, although a great deal of variability and uncertainty around local rainfall patterns remains. Impacts of changes in water availability include in the agriculture sector, biodiversity, human health and infrastructure. Changes in water availability will continue to put pressure on policy frameworks to ensure adequate and equitable water availability for both agriculture and industry and for environmental flows. Adaptation options will need to address supply-side (e.g. water tanks, desalination) and demand-side (e.g. water restrictions). Adaptation will demand careful management of water resources and consideration of ecosystem functioning. The factsheet also describes research priorities and the work of the then Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity Adaptation Research Network.