National Workshop: Climate Change Adaptation of Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity

On August 10th and 11th, CSIRO, in collaboration with NCCARF held a National Cross-Sectoral workshop looking at the value of freshwater ecosystems, both intrinsically and through the provision of goods and services and support functions to various sectors, including the environment.  The aim of the workshop was to identify how climate change might impact the provision of valued goods, services and functions by impacting our freshwater ecosystems.  The workshop results, once analysed, will recommend adaptation options which are viewed as important by the workshop members and the sectors they represent.  Additionally, the workshop will help pinpoint areas where participants feel information is missing, particularly in the context of decision making under climate change.  Some key points revolved around the ubiquity of water across many sectors, and the vulnerabilities and strengths associated with its presence or absence, particularly in its links with human wellbeing and the political implications of this. This highlights the need for climate-water research to be integrated across all sectors, with particular attention on the social aspects which also traverse all sectors. It is anticipated that initial results will be available via a discussion paper towards the end of November with a full report availble end of 2011. 

Following the National Workshop, which brought together a targetted audience of 20-25 experts, the results of this workshop will also be assessed by CSIRO experts to identify links between the ‘desired information’ identified by the workshop participants and potential hydrological and climate modelling capabilities which might fulfill these.  In order to expand the selection of opinions, CSIRO and NCCARF will be presenting the results from the workshop in an interactive feature session on Monday 26th of September as part of RiverSymposium, at the Brisbane Convention Centre.