The predictions emerging from the scientific community regarding the potential impacts of climate change, globally and locally, can be quite alarming to read and digest.
Projected effects such as reduced rainfall across the State, increased frequency and intensity of heatwave events in Adelaide, and potential sea level rise in some coastal areas - are all significant risks predicted as likely to affect our area.
Currently, projections indicate that our region may experience the following changes to 2070 (based on a medium concentrations pathway of CO2-e in the earth’s atmosphere):
The Cities of Charles Sturt, Port Adelaide Enfield and West Torrens are working together to assess the risks that climate change poses in our local region. This is to ensure our communities and businesses can be prepared for the future, and also benefit from any opportunities that may arise from tackling the challenges.
The AdaptWest project is being undertaken in four stages. The first stage has been to jointly prepare a scientifically valid report regarding the projected climatic conditions in this region, and also to take a ‘snapshot’ of the western region to see who we are and what the region contains – socially, environmentally, and economically.
Stage 2 of the project has commenced, and 5 research papers produced on topics of particular relevance to this region. The 5 Research Papers can be viewed below.
In March 2015 a range of professionals, Elected Members, and local community representatives, participated in a set of workshops to focus in on key ‘indicators’ and issues in our region, based on the research results. The workshops looked at how the projected changes in climate conditions might impact on vulnerable communities, important environmental and coastal assets, and core economic functions and infrastructure assets in the region. The results of the assessment will inform the next stage of the project, which is to develop a range of ‘’adaptation’ options and activities to effectively manage the risks and effects, and ensure the resilience and sustainability of our region into the future.
Along with the three Councils, the project is being supported by all levels of government, including funding from the Commonwealth Government via its Natural Disaster Resilience Program, and from the State Government via the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and the Coast Protection Board.
The State of the Climate
Bureau of Meteorology
Climate change and variability
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – AR5 report and information
South Australia’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework