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Assessing adaptive capacity during the drought period in the Murray–Darling Basin


  • Yogi Vidyattama

    () (University of Canberra)

  • Leonie J. Pearson

    (University of Canberra
    Regional Australia Institute)

  • Robert Tanton

    (University of Canberra)

  • Itismita Mohanty

    (University of Canberra)


The severity and intensity of drought are predicted to worsen under expected changing climatic conditions. The ability of communities to adapt and be resilient during a severe event such as drought depends on the capacity of the area. This study looks at the capacity of regional communities to adapt during a period of severe condition, using a case study of the Murray–Darling Basin in Southeast Australia during the Millennium drought. Using principal component analysis methodology, this study creates several indexes to summarise important indicators for socioeconomic adaptive capacity. Results indicate that that the adaptive capacity measure works well in the areas near cities. On the other hand, although areas away from cities were more likely to suffer lower adaptive capacity after the drought, the areas with higher capacity index seem to be able to maintain their position in the quintile or at least not drop further down into lower quintile even when compared to the area near the city.

Suggested Citation

  • Yogi Vidyattama & Leonie J. Pearson & Robert Tanton & Itismita Mohanty, 2017. "Assessing adaptive capacity during the drought period in the Murray–Darling Basin," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 155-170, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:apjors:v:1:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s41685-017-0039-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s41685-017-0039-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. João Romão & Peter Nijkamp, 2017. "Special issue on innovation and ecology: regional science perspectives on spatial systems," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-52, April.

    More about this item


    Socioeconomic index; Regional Australia; Murray–Darling Basin; Drought;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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