Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision making framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels. Development and case studies
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Natural Sciences/Centre for Ecosystem Management
The objective of this research was to develop and test a risk assessment and decision-making framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) with declining water levels due to climate change, anthropogenic extraction, land use and land management. The framework was developed by a multidisciplinary team of ecologists, modellers and hydrogeologists in south-western Australia, a biodiversity hotspot that has already suffered three decades of below average rainfall and consequently declining groundwater levels due to increased groundwater abstraction and land use change. This has provided a ‘living experiment’ providing validation of the framework against observed changes (not just modelled projections). The combination of this research together with input from a suite of end-users, other scientists and experts from across Australia has provided a robust and adaptable framework.