The Goyder Institute for Water Research’s downscaled climate change projections for South Australia are being used for water resource management across South Australia to help improve the security of water resources into the future.
The datasets were developed through a Goyder Institute project and made available in 2015 through the SA Climate Ready website. In recent years the SA Climate Ready datasets have been actively applied in a growing number of applications, particularly in water resource planning and water security assessments.
“Planning for climate change remains a critical issue for the sustainable management of our precious water resources in Australia,” Goyder Institute Director Dr Kane Aldridge said. “The broad application of this research highlights the ongoing need for up-to-date climate data to support water planning and the value of the collaborative approach from the partners of the Goyder Institute.”
The application of these SA Climate Ready datasets to water planning have been supported by at least 30 technical investigations, reports, journal papers and research projects. The data-sets have been applied in technical investigations of water quality and water supply capacity for South Australia’s essential sources of water for communities, agriculture, industries and the environment.
Examples include investigating the impacts of climate change and groundwater extraction on aquifer resources essential for irrigation in the Barossa Valley and in the South East of SA - helping to ensure that water is allocated within the sustainable limits of current and projected future climates. Also, in the South East region, the projected changes in water yield from the South East Flows Restoration Project, which impacts releases of water to the Coorong, has been assessed using the datasets.
“The datasets have become an essential input to our water science work that aims to understand the future direction of water resources and water dependent ecosystems in South Australia” said DEWNR’s Principal Advisor for Climate Change Science, Dr Graham Green, who has advised on the use of the SA Climate Ready datasets in several of DEWNR’s climate change impact assessments.
Water utilities are now also better able to plan measures for maintaining future water quality of public water supplies thanks to the application of the data-sets. Scientists at the University of Adelaide and SA Water applied the SA Climate Ready datasets to understand the potential impacts of climate change on water quality in reservoirs and catchments. Stormwater harvesting and managed aquifer recharge also form an important part of metropolitan Adelaide’s increasingly diverse water supply mix. These effects of variations in rainfall patterns on the supply reliability of these schemes in Salisbury area were investigated by the CSIRO in a study that applied the SA Climate Ready data-sets.
The application of the datasets is not limited to water-related applications, with a team from University of Adelaide using the SA Climate Ready data-sets to calculate and map the spatial and temporal patterns of heatwave risk across Greater Adelaide into the future.
The SA Climate Ready datasets are available to all and can be downloaded from the SA Climate Ready website, which also provides regional climate change projection summaries and a data user guide.