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Adapting to climate change for water resource management: Issues for northern Australia


  • William Nikolakis

    () (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)

  • Aimee Nygaard

    (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)

  • Quentin Grafton

    () (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)


There are two aims of this work focused across northern Australia (north of the tropic of Capricorn). First is to identify adaptive strategies to deal with climate change in each jurisdiction. Second the work identifies issues for adaptation in water resource management across the region in light of potential impacts and local conditions. Over half of Australia‘s annual runoff occurs in the north Australian region from November to April. The region is relatively undeveloped and sparsely populated compared to southern Australia. Almost 30% of the land base is owned under Indigenous tenure. Drought and over-allocation of water resources in southern Australia has focused attention on the potential for expanding irrigated agriculture in the north. With an outlook for increased drought in southern Australia the pressure to look north is likely to increase. While rainfall projections in northern Australia are identified as stable to increasing, our research highlights that the outlook for water availability remains uncertain under climate change scenarios across the north.

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  • William Nikolakis & Aimee Nygaard & Quentin Grafton, 2011. "Adapting to climate change for water resource management: Issues for northern Australia," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 10108, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:eenhrr:10108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brooks, Robert & Harris, Edwyna, 2008. "Efficiency gains from water markets: Empirical analysis of Watermove in Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(4), pages 391-399, April.
    2. Ereney Hadjigeorgalis, 2009. "A Place for Water Markets: Performance and Challenges," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 50-67.
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