CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Animal Production Science   
Animal Production Science
Journal Banner
  Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Submit Article
blank image
Use the online submission system to send us your paper.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 48(3)

Managing climate risks in Australia: options for water policy and irrigation management

Shahbaz Khan

CSIRO Land and Water and Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia. Email: shahbaz.khan@csiro.au
PDF (518 KB) $25
 Export Citation


Australia, a country which suffers from recurrent droughts, is currently experiencing a shift in climate. It is often classified as the driest inhabited continent due to the extremely low annual average rainfall (465 mm) and associated low annual average runoff (57 mm). This has required a regular revision of Australia’s water policy to align with the needs of its society. Several changes in water policy have been formulated in recent times with the objective of striking a balance between the consumptive and environmental components of flows in Australian catchments. Some of the developments that affect irrigated agriculture include: (i) the Council of Australian Government’s water reforms; (ii) the Murray–Darling Basin Commission cap (the volume of water that could be diverted under 1993–94 levels of development); (iii) environmental flow rules; and (iv) the National Water Initiative.

At a strategic level global climate change threatens the viability of irrigated agriculture and other industries. Under the present water reforms, longer-term water security is not guaranteed because these reforms do not explicitly take into account threats to water quantity and quality due to enhanced climate variability and change. At an operational level, current water allocation systems do not take into account state-of-the-art climate forecasting methods. Therefore, it is often not until after the irrigation season is well underway that irrigators have a reasonable knowledge of how much water will be available. Thus, there is considerable risk associated with planting and crop establishment decisions, resulting in a need for climate forecasting tools aimed at risk management. There is also a need for Australian water legislation and policy to be revisited to incorporate climate change and adaptive management options.

Keywords: artificial recharge, irrigation supply system, water use efficiency.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016