Climate Change Adaptation Plan - for natural resource management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria 2016
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Climate Change Adaptation Plan for natural resource management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria 2016 An assessment of the vulnerability of the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural resources to climate change using spatially-enabled criteria and identification of adaptation and mitigation priorities and management options
2 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority © Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, 2016 PO Box 1752, Shepparton Vic 3632 Phone: 03 5822 7700 Email: email@example.com Web: www.gbcma.vic.gov.au ISBN: 978-1-876600-05-1 Contributing authors: Compiled by Melanie Haddow and Kate Brunt (Goulburn Broken CMA) using project reports developed by Craig Clifton and Milos Pelikan (Jacobs), Rod McLennan (Rod McLennan and Associates) and Pat Feehan (Pat Feehan Consulting). Regional Natural Resource Management Planning for Climate Change in the Goulburn Broken Region Project Steering Committee: Carl Walters, Chris Norman, Helen Murdoch, Jenny Wilson, Kate Brunt (Project Manager), Katie Warner, Mark Turner, Melanie Haddow, Simon Casanalia, Steve Wilson (Chair) and Wayne Tennant, Goulburn Broken CMA Chelsea Cherry, Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Gary Deayton, Moira Shire Council, (representing the Goulburn Broken Local Government Biodiversity Reference Group) Peter Wilcock, Australian Government Department of Environment Tracy Taylor/Thomas Brown, Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance Further acknowledgements: For providing expertise to inform the Plan: Milos Pelikan, Craig Clifton, Sarah Heard, Ashlea Davy and David Kelly, Jacobs Mark Cotter, The Catchment Management Company Pat Feehan, Pat Feehan Consulting Rod McLennan, Rod McLennan and Associates Aaron Findlay, Carl Walters, Carla Miles, Helen Murdoch, Jenny Wilson, Kate Brunt, Melanie Haddow, Rachael Spokes, Steve Wilson and Tim Barlow, Goulburn Broken CMA Kate Stothers, Euroa Arboretum Terry Batey and Rebecca Caldwell, Victorian Government Department of Environment and Primary Industries Terry Hunter, Goulburn-Murray Water For collaboration on regional natural resource management planning for climate change: Matthew O’Connell and Alison Skinner, North East CMA Linda Broadhurst, Veronica Doerr and Leanne Webb, CSIRO Paul Ryan, Australian Resilience Centre The Victorian CMAs Natural Resource Management Planning for Climate Change Forum For providing information and communication technology assistance: Peter Geddes, Goulburn Broken CMA Design by Flying Pig Design Photos: front cover (left to right): Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change workshop in Euroa, credit: Melanie Haddow; Revegetation site, credit: GB CMA; Introduction to soil care workshop at Glenaroua, credit: Karen Brisbane. Back cover (left to right): Kinnairds wetland after watering, credit: Jo Wood; Beyond SoilCare project farm tour at Whiteheads, credit: Rhiannon Apted; Irrigation water efficiency works at Yeilma, credit: David Lawler Disclaimer: this publication may be of assistance, but the Goulburn Broken Catchment The Regional NRM Planning for Management Authority and its partners do not guarantee that the publication is without Climate Change in the Goulburn flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purpose and therefore Broken Region project has disclaim all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you been supported by Australian relying on any information in this publication. Government funding.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 1 Contents 1. Purpose 2 2. Background 3 3. The Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process 4 3.1 Identifying assessment criteria 4 3.2 Development of a spatial assessment tool 5 3.3 Assessment of climate change vulnerability and adaptation priority 6 3.4 Development of adaptation options 7 4. Influence of Climate Change on the Condition of the Catchment’s Natural Resources 9 5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment’s Natural Resources 15 6. Vulnerability of the Catchment’s Natural Resources to Climate Change 18 7. Focus Areas for Climate Change Adaptation and Management Options 20 7.1 Agricultural Floodplains Social-ecological System 24 7.2 Productive Plains Social-ecological System 30 7.3 Upland Slopes Social-ecological System 36 7.4 Commuting Hills Social-ecological System 42 7.5 Southern Forests Social-ecological System 48 7.6 Incremental and transformational adaptation 54 7.7 Adaptation pathways 55 8. Climate Change Mitigation 56 8.1 Priority landscapes for carbon farming 56 8.2 Management options for carbon farming 61 9. Implementation: making use of better information 62 10. Adaptive Management Framework 63 10.1 Elements of an adaptive management framework 63 10.2 Adaptive pathways 64 10.3 Risk management procedure 65 11. Evaluation and Improvement 66 11.1 Key evaluation questions 66 Abbreviations 67 References 67 Appendix A: Summary of Communication and Engagement Activities 69 Appendix B: Exposure Maps 71 Appendix C: Sensitivity Map 72 Appendix D: Adaptive Capacity Map 73 Appendix E: Case study; Planning for multiple futures in the Shepparton Irrigation Region 74
2 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority 1. Purpose This Climate Change Adaptation Figure 1: The relationship between the Goulburn Broken Regional Plan: Catchment Strategy, sub-strategies and local plans for social-ecological systems (GB CMA 2013). a. identifies priority landscapes for climate change adaptation SUPPORTING SUB-STRATEGIES and mitigation in the context People: of improving the resilience of Community NRM Action Plan 2013-18; INTEGRATION natural resources; Communications and Marketing Strategy PLANNING 2013; Community Engagement Strategy b. identifies options for climate and Action Plan 2014-15; Workforce SES Local Plans: change adaptation and Strategy 2013-18; Workforce Plan and 1. Agricultural Capability Strategy 2013-18; Occupational Floodplains mitigation, including carbon Health and Safety Policy Statement 2014-15 2. Productive Plains sequestration, within focus areas Other: 3. Upland Slopes and priority landscapes; and Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting 4. Commuting Hills Strategy 2004; Climate Change Integration c. identifies risks to catchment 5. Southern Forests Strategy 2012-15; Organisational GOULBURN 6. Urban Centres processes from carbon BROKEN Environmental Footprint Strategy and REGIONAL Action Plan 2012-14; ICT Strategy 2015-18 sequestration activities and CATCHMENT mitigation actions. STRATEGY 2013-19 This Plan contributes to achieving Overarching BIOPHYSICALLY FOCUSED SUB-STRATEGIES document that strategic outcomes of the Goulburn outlines the Biodiversity: Broken Catchment Management long-term vision Biodiversity Strategy 2010-15 for integrated Authority’s (CMA’s) Climate Change catchment Land: Integration Strategy 2012-2015 management Land Health Statement 2012; Invasive Plants and Animals Strategy 2010; Shepparton Irrigation Region (SIR) Catchment Implementation (GB CMA 2012), a sub-strategy Strategy 1990-2020 of the Goulburn Broken Regional Water: Catchment Strategy (RCS) 2013 Goulburn Broken Waterway Strategy 2014-2022; Water Quality Strategy 1996-2016; Goulburn Broken Floodplain Management -2019 (GB CMA 2013) (see Strategy (interim) 2014-16 figure 1). This Plan specifically contributes to the following Climate Change The priorities and management at various spatial scales (see section Integration Strategy strategic options specifically relate to the 9 for more details). outcomes and associated goals and Goulburn Broken Catchment, however, the process for assessing This Plan is not intended to directions: incorporate all decision-making vulnerability and identifying • integrate climate change priorities and management options elements but provides an initial into Goulburn Broken CMA could inform NRM planning more prioritisation for climate change programs; broadly. adaptation and mitigation based on spatially-enabled criteria • improve understanding of The adaptation and mitigation for vulnerability and values. climate change; and priorities and associated Investigation of the interactions • build catchment resilience into management options outlined between social-ecological systems sequestration activities. in this Plan will be considered (SESs) identified in the Goulburn through the Goulburn Broken Broken RCS, (GB CMA 2013) This Plan has been developed CMA’s adaptive management drivers of change and how key primarily for natural resource planning processes for integration points of vulnerability to natural management (NRM) planners into NRM programs and strategies resources may be overcome will but may inform the work of continue. researchers and implementers.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 3 2. Background The Goulburn Broken CMA • fewer frosts (high level of • The planning process is coordinates natural resource confidence) logical, comprehensive and management (NRM) in the • less rainfall during the cool transparent (see section 3). Goulburn Broken Catchment, season by 2090 (high level of • Best available information is Victoria, guided by the Goulburn confidence) used to develop actions (see Broken RCS. The Goulburn Broken sections 3, 5 and 6) and are • increased intensity of heavy CMA develops and coordinates the based on collaboration with rainfall events (high level of implementation of the Goulburn government, community and confidence) Broken RCS in collaboration other stakeholders (see below). • a harsher fire-weather climate with the community, all tiers of (high level of confidence) The development of this Plan government, regional authorities and research and funding • increased evaporation (high has been managed by a multi- organisations. level of confidence) organisation steering committee • on an annual and decadal (see Acknowledgements) and Major challenges for NRM in the has been informed by extensive basis, natural variability in the Goulburn Broken Catchment consultation with: climate system can act to either include degraded river health, mask or enhance any long-term reduced extent and quality of • Goulburn Broken CMA staff human-induced trend. native vegetation, reduced water and Board • snowfall and maximum snow quality and quantity, dryland and • local, State and depth will continue to decline irrigated salinity, loss of biodiversity, Commonwealth government (high level of confidence). and pest plant and pest animal representatives invasion. These challenges are The development of this Plan was • representatives from NRM all being exacerbated by climate supported by funding from Stream organisations across Victoria change. 1 of the Australian Government’s and the Murray Basin Regional Natural Resource • research institutions Regional climate projections Management Planning for Climate developed by the CSIRO for • expert consultants Change Fund. The Fund was the Murray Basin (of which the • community and industry established to improve regional Goulburn Broken Catchment is representatives. NRM planning and use of climate part) indicate that climate change change science, information and See Appendix A for more detail will have the following impacts on scenarios to plan for the impacts on stakeholder and community the future climate (Timbal et al. of climate change. This Plan aligns consultation activities. 2015): with the following principles of the • average temperatures will Fund (DSEWPaC 2012): continue to increase in all • Identify priority landscapes seasons (very high level of for carbon plantings (see confidence) section 8) and strategies to • hotter and more frequent hot build landscape integrity days and longer warm spells and guide adaptation and (very high level of confidence) mitigation actions (see section 7) to address climate change impacts on natural ecosystems (see sections 4, 5 and 6).
4 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority 3. The Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process An assessment of the vulnerability Although there are important 3.1 Identifying assessment of the Goulburn Broken differences, exposure and criteria Catchment’s natural resources to sensitivity broadly correspond Criteria for assessing the climate change using spatially- with the likelihood and vulnerability of the Catchment’s enabled criteria was undertaken consequence components of a natural resources to climate change with adaptation and mitigation risk assessment. Vulnerability is and identifying priorities for priorities and management options used to highlight locations and adaptation were identified through identified using the results of this issues to focus further analysis, (Clifton and Pelikan 2014): assessment. Natural resources including risk assessment and are defined as per the Goulburn management. Multiple criteria • a review of the Goulburn Broken RCS in the asset categories and spatial data sets can be used Broken CMA’s regional NRM of land, water and biodiversity (GB to characterise each of the three planning framework to CMA 2013). main components of a vulnerability understand and assess how assessment to identify areas which climate change has been A vulnerability assessment was may experience greater impact considered; chosen as it is well suited to spatial from climate change. analyses. Risk and vulnerability • an analysis of landscape are similar, although not identical The vulnerability and adaptation processes that affect the concepts. Both are widely used priority assessment was undertaken condition of natural resources in the analysis of climate change in the following five stages: and current management issues. actions to mitigate adverse 1. Identification of assessment impacts; and Vulnerability is the degree to criteria • stakeholder engagement. which a system is susceptible to, 2. Development of a spatial and unable to cope with, adverse assessment tool Landscape processes were effects of climate change. It has represented using the Driver- 3. Assessment of climate change three main dimensions: exposure Pressure-State-Impact-Response vulnerability to changes in climate; sensitivity to (DPSIR) model (see figure 2). 4. Identification of focus areas for such changes; and the capacity of The DPSIR analyses characterise adaptation a system to adapt to them. landscape interactions that 5. Development of adaptation influence the condition and value Risk is the effect of uncertainty management options. of natural resources that may, in on objectives and is assessed by turn, be influenced by climate considering the consequence of an change. The DPSIR analyses event and its likelihood. include detail that seeks to explain the interconnection between the Driver, Pressure, State and Impact elements and document assumptions about the interactions and influence of specific factors. The model is not intended to represent the actual biophysical or ecological processes by which those interactions occur.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 5 Figure 2: The DPSIR model (Clifton and Pelikan 2014) The Tool assists NRM planners to develop scenarios of climate change impact based on spatial Drivers (D) data and to incorporate any Climate change and other forcing factors that create relevant local knowledge. Criteria pressure on a natural resource asset or system can be weighted to assign higher importance to certain criteria over others with specific criteria and/ Pressures (P) or criteria weighting able to be Climatic and other stressors influencing the changed between scenario runs, condition of a natural resource asset or system providing flexibility to customise inputs (Kelly and Davy 2014). State (S) The Tool is not an end in itself, but Condition of the natural resource asset or system Responses (R) instead is a means to help NRM Managment planners and decision-makers actions taken to understand their complex Impacts (I) to avoid or planning and decision-making Effect of the natural resource asset or system’s reduce risk state on its capacity to meet community of unwanted environment. The Tool is not for expectations or objectives impacts operational or every-day use, but can be used at strategic points in NRM planning cycles. It can also be updated as new information Social, technical, environmental, The DPSIR also accounts for the becomes available. The Tool runs economic, political and legal influence of climate change, based assessments for the whole of the aspects considered for Drivers and on mid-century climate change Goulburn Broken Catchment but Pressures were identified from projections under a relatively high users can extract subsets of this documented threats to natural emissions pathway, and identified data and analyse them using GIS. resources. Characteristics of the responses that are specific to current State (or condition) of climate change. This enabled a The Tool’s data library contains natural resources was documented broad assessment of how climate spatial information that represents as were the likely Impacts on change may influence landscape the vulnerability and priority natural resource values or services. processes and the State (or assessment criteria. The Tool has Types of management actions condition) and value of natural the capacity to include additional (Responses) specified in the resources. criteria and associated data. The planning framework were matched actual number of criteria and data at the appropriate point(s) in the sets deployed to inform this Plan D-P-S-I chain. reflects the available information, 3.2 Development of a difficulty to create or represent The DPSIR analyses also include spatial assessment tool criteria spatially and the project assessments of the magnitude A Spatial Assessment Tool was budget. (local-regional scale) and trend developed to help identify (improvement/decline) of influence landscapes within the Goulburn of Drivers and Pressures on the Broken Catchment that are State of natural resources. The vulnerable to climate change to recent historical trend in State assist in focusing adaptation. The and Impact was also assessed. Tool can also help identify priority Responses were classified in terms landscapes for carbon farming of their influence on the State of activities (mitigation). natural resources.
6 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority 3.3 Assessment of climate The regional NRM planning The Tool uses a single climate change vulnerability and framework review and, particularly, change scenario in each ‘run’ to adaptation priority the DPSIR analyses, were used, in incorporate a specific time period, consultation with regional NRM greenhouse gas emissions trajectory The assessment of the vulnerability planning stakeholders, to identify and/or global climate model (or of the Catchment’s natural a set of criteria that informed ensemble of models) output. resources to climate change and assessments of exposure, sensitivity, Climate scenarios are reflected adaptation priority reflects four adaptive capacity and value. Factors in the exposure component of main attributes (see figure 3): considered in selecting criteria the vulnerability assessment. The 1. Exposure: the extent to which include: vulnerability assessment was a system or entity experiences undertaken for the following three climatic conditions that may • Materiality: the extent to climate change scenarios (Timbal et cause damage or alter landscape which the criterion reflects a al. 2015) using a criteria weighting or ecological processes. significant (or material) form scheme developed in consultation of sensitivity to climate change 2. Sensitivity: the extent to which with regional NRM planning to which natural resources exposure to climate change stakeholders. and landscape processes are results in damage or disruption sensitive. 1. Low climate change: warmer to landscape, ecological or • Differentiation: the extent to (0.5-1.5°C increase in annual socio-economic processes. which values of the criterion average temperature), with 3. Adaptive capacity: the extent little change in annual average and/or its influence on natural to which a system or entity is rainfall (-5 to +5% change). resource assets, SES and able to anticipate and adjust to This scenario is based on 2030 landscape processes vary climate change. outputs for the ACCESS 1.0 across space. 4. Value: incorporating global climate model under the • Data availability: the availability environmental, social and Representative Concentration of spatial data to represent the economic value of wetlands Pathways (RCP) 4.5 emissions criterion or of data from which and streams, strategic values pathway. the criterion may be derived. associated with native vegetation, consequence of loss • Confidence: the level of for economic infrastructure, confidence that the criterion economic production and will influence vulnerability. environmental values, financial and economic value of land and presence of drought refuge habitats. Figure 3: The climate change adaptation prioritisation framework (adapted from Schröter undated by Clifton and Pelikan 2014). Exposure Impact Sensitivity Vulnerability Adaptive Capacity Adaptation Priority Value
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 7 2. Moderate climate change: 3.4 Development of 2. Who or what adapts? hotter (1.5-3.0°C increase in adaptation options The Tool data set was interrogated annual average temperature) to determine the main values and drier (5-15% reduction in The process for conceptualising and responsible for the focus area annual average rainfall). This evaluating adaptation options was being identified. The components scenario is based on 2050 adapted from Smit et al. (2000) of the natural resource system that outputs for the GFDL ESM2M by Clifton and Pelikan (2014). The underpin those values should be global climate model under the process draws on data outputs from addressed by adaptation actions. RCP 4.5 emissions pathway. the Tool as well as the regional NRM Components may include people planning framework review and and infrastructure, as well as natural 3. High climate change: much considers five questions: assets such as land, water and hotter (>3.0°C increase in 1. Adaptation to what? biodiversity. annual average temperature) and much drier (>15% While climate change poses a 3. How are pressures and reduction in annual average significant risk for many of the impacts currently being rainfall). This scenario is based natural systems managed by managed? on 2070 outputs for the GFDL the Goulburn Broken CMA and The Goulburn Broken CMA and ESM2M global climate model its stakeholders, those systems’ its stakeholders are typically aware under the RCP 8.5 emissions current state and the resulting of the pressures faced by natural pathway. impacts largely reflect the influence resources and systems and have of other drivers and pressures. Data representing the scenarios was well-developed responses to these For adaptations to be taken up provided by CSIRO under its Climate pressures or the changes in state or and successfully implemented, Change Projections for Australia’s impacts they have contributed to. they need to be incorporated into Natural Resource Management Many of these also help to build responses that address climate- Regions project (Timbal et al. 2015), resilience to climate change. The related and non-climate-related based on modelling undertaken for DPSIR analyses were interrogated influences. In some instances, an the Fifth Assessment Report of the to identify how pressures and adaptation’s main influence will Intergovernmental Panel on Climate impacts, including those potentially be to build resilience by reducing Change (2013). emerging as a result of climate the effects of non-climate-related change, are currently being The overall scoring for vulnerability pressures. managed. and value criteria was used to This question is addressed with identify two forms of priorities: reference to two main sources of 4. How effective are these those for planned adaptation information: responses anticipated to be? and those for semi-autonomous A high level assessment is made • Tool outputs: the data set adaptation. Planned adaptation of the effectiveness of existing was interrogated using focuses on areas of high value planned adaptations at managing GIS to identify the main and high vulnerability and the current suite of pressures exposure, sensitivity and should be considered first when and impacts and those which are adaptive capacity criteria developing and implementing anticipated to emerge as a result that are contributing to the management programs to mitigate of climate change. This analysis vulnerability score. vulnerability to climate change. indicated whether natural resources Semi-autonomous adaptation • DPSIR analyses: the analyses and systems are likely to be climate areas have high value but lower were used to identify the resilient without further adaptation. vulnerability under current tenure broader set of drivers and and management. pressures (climate and non- climate related) that influence on the state of natural resources to which adaptations are required to respond.
8 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority 5. What additional options • Reduce the risk: Either the use could be considered? of natural resources is changed The final step considered what new to lessen or avoid impacts from measures could be undertaken climate change (e.g. changing to develop or strengthen climate from irrigation to dryland resilience of natural resources in agriculture or vice versa) or the respective focus area. Options the use is shifted to another are considered in the following location where there is less or categories (after Willows and no exposure to the relevant Connell, 2003) to encourage climate change risk. consideration of the full spectrum • Build adaptive capacity: of climate change response Research is undertaken opportunities. The DPSIR analyses to better understand and have been considered where respond to risks from climate they specify new or additional change and/or education and adaptation options for climate- behavioural change programs related drivers and pressures. are implemented to improve various key stakeholder • Modify the events: Actions groups’ understanding of are undertaken to reduce the climate change and encourage exposure of natural resources appropriate adaptive responses to climate events that may on their part. Planning, affect their condition. Provision regulatory or institutional of environmental flows or options under ‘respond to the irrigation are examples of this effects’ may also contribute to type of adaptation to drought. the development of adaptive Planned burning is an example capacity. of this type of adaptation to bushfires. • Respond to the effects: Actions are undertaken to either protect against or reduce the sensitivity of the natural resources to climate change. These types of adaptation may include physical measures (e.g. construction of structures to provide environmental water), changes in operational or management practice (e.g. stubble retention to increase soil moisture retention and reduce drought sensitivity) and changes to planning, regulatory or institutional arrangements.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 9 4. Influence of Climate Change on the Condition of the Catchment’s Natural Resources Information from the regional relatively high emissions pathway. The DPSIR analyses are based on NRM planning framework review Some pressures have a high level assumptions informed by expert (see section 3.1) and stakeholder of influence only under climate consultants and regional NRM engagement has been used to change. planners. These assumptions describe the influence of climate and the assessment criteria they The full DPSIR analyses (Clifton and change on each of the three inform will be updated as new Heard 2013, available from http:// regional natural resource classes information becomes available as weconnect.gbcma.vic.gov.au/) identified in the Goulburn Broken per the Goulburn Broken CMA’s identify links between Drivers and RCS. Tables 1, 2 and 3 (below) Monitoring, Evaluation and Pressures, States and Pressures and summarise information from Reporting Strategy (under review). Impacts and States. As the Drivers the DPSIR analyses (Clifton and and Pressures listed in table 2 all Pelikan 2014) (see section 3.1), have a high level of influence on outlining the drivers and pressures the condition of natural resources, with a high influence on natural all the drivers have an influence on resource condition and the trend all of the pressures to some degree that influence will experience which is why direct links have not under climate change based on been articulated here. mid-century projections under a Table 1: Summary of drivers and pressures with a high influence on the condition of land resources in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and the trend of influence under climate change Land: soil and land that is used for purposes other than nature conservation, including dryland and irrigation farming, timber production and urban and lifestyle uses STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE DRIVERS OF ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Water Increasing Changing land use values interact with land use and management practice availability change as a driver. While this is not always the case, it often results and policy in increased value on biodiversity compared with production and has reform contributed to private and public land conservation of biodiversity assets. As climate change adds to pressure on biodiversity condition, this may increase trade-offs between biodiversity and production. Climate Increasing Climate has a strong and pervasive influence on land condition via variability and precipitation and temperature patterns and their influence on land health change and primary production. Direction of influence depends on climate phases, but overall assumed to be neither detrimental nor beneficial under historical conditions. Climate change is likely to have an overall detrimental influence on land condition.
10 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE DRIVERS OF ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Demographic No change to current Demographic change is reflected in changes in age and density of population, change level of influence as well as education, employment status and entrance of lifestyle landholders. Demographic change is not clearly influencing land condition in a particular direction, as expectations of land management/focus on stewardship and environmental values vary widely. Not clear how climate change would directly modify influence on land condition. Land use and Increasing Much of the influence is a legacy, reflecting historical change in land use to management agriculture and development of water resources for irrigation. Land use and change management continues to change in the Catchment, with intensification (following irrigation system modernisation), neglect or improved management. Overall, land use and management change is considered to currently have neutral influence, reflecting the balance of positive changes (e.g. improved management of soil health issues in farming areas) and negative changes (e.g. neglect of land in some lifestyle areas). Climate change may lead to a more negative influence on land condition, reflecting impact of temperature and increased drought. STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE PRESSURES ON ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Change in fire Increasing Key pressure on land state in public land areas. Severe fire weather is regimes and projected to increase with climate change, potentially placing further pressure management on land condition. Cultivation/ Increasing Legacy and ongoing effect of cropping and grazing on various measures cropping/ of soil and land health. Improved practice in recent years is likely to grazing reduce negative influence on condition rather than improve it (overall). Intensification of drought and extreme rainfall with climate change is likely to exacerbate influence on land condition. Extreme Increasing Extreme weather, especially fire, flood and drought, continue to adversely weather & affect land assets. Climate change is likely to increase adverse effects of fire climate events and drought and may reduce flooding incidence. (drought, fire, flood) Invasive plants Increasing Invasive species reduce agricultural productivity and, in some cases, expose and animals soils to erosion (e.g. cape weed on ridges). Climate change may enable the and disease introduction of new species and with more severe, extreme rainfall events, may exacerbate effects on land condition. Irrigation and Decreasing Legacy and ongoing effect of irrigation development and practice and dryland dryland salinity, clearing, although the effects diminished in recent years compared to the high water 1980s and 1990s. With reduced rainfall under climate change, influence on tables land condition is likely to diminish further. Irrigation - Decreasing Much of the influence on land condition is a historical legacy of elevated regulation, water tables and irrigation salinity. Effects of these on land condition have drainage, diminished in recent years and are anticipated to continue to do so with diversion and climate change. storages Change in Influence high only Land asset condition (e.g. erosion, agricultural production, salinity, soil carbon) rainfall regime under climate change tightly linked to rainfall. Changes will be pervasive across the Catchment and scenario generally detrimental, although climate change is anticipated to further abate salinity issues.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 11 Table 2: Summary of drivers and pressures with a high influence on the condition of water resources in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and the trend of influence under climate change. Water: Waterways, floodplains, wetlands and groundwater aquifers and water used for consumptive and environmental uses STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE DRIVERS OF ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Water Increasing Currently a positive influence on the condition of water assets as policy availability and reform and water availability has recently provided for improved balance policy reform between environmental and consumptive water uses. With reduced rainfall under climate change, competition between environmental and consumptive water uses is likely to increase and water availability for environmental flows likely to reduce, leading to detrimental influence on the condition of water assets. Climate Increasing Climate has a strong and pervasive influence on the condition of water variability and assets via precipitation patterns and their influence on stream flows and change water-dependent ecosystem processes. Climate influence is also expressed in terms of water temperature. Direction of influence depends on climate phases, but overall assumed to be neither detrimental nor beneficial under historical conditions. Climate change is likely to have an overall detrimental influence on the condition of water assets. Land use and No change to current Much of the influence is a legacy, reflecting historical change in land use management level of influence to agriculture and development of water resources for irrigation. Land use change and management continues to change in many areas, with intensification (following irrigation system modernisation), neglect or improved management. Proliferation of farm dams affects water flows in lifestyle land use zones. Overall, considered to currently have a neutral influence, reflecting the balance of positive changes (e.g. improved management of sources of nutrient and sediment) and negative changes (e.g. farm dam proliferation). Climate change unlikely to directly modify influence on condition.
12 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE PRESSURES ON ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Change in fire Increasing Key pressure on long-term water flows and shorter term water quality from regimes and wet eucalypt forests in key catchment areas (trend for excessive frequency in management recent years). Severe fire weather projected to increase with climate change, potentially placing further pressure on water resources. Extreme Increasing Extreme weather, especially fire and drought, continues to adversely affect weather & water assets. Flooding has a generally positive influence on the condition climate events of riparian, wetland and aquatic ecosystems. Climate change projected (drought, fire, to increase adverse effects of fire and drought and may reduce flooding flood) incidence. Infrastructure Increasing Legacy and on-going impact of irrigation and water infrastructure, as well development as flood levees on flows, flooding into floodplain forests and movement of aquatic fauna. With less flow under climate change, influence on condition is likely to worsen. Invasive plants Increasing Invasive species compete with, displace, damage or prey on native flora and and animals fauna, reducing populations and affecting recruitment in water-dependent ecosystems. Climate change may enable introduction of new pests. Irrigation - Increasing Much of the influence on condition is a historical legacy of changes in flow regulation, and water regimes. While NRM programs are seeking to reduce the negative drainage, influence, this pressure still contributes to a negative trend in condition. diversion and Climate change will reduce water resource availability and likely increase storages detrimental impacts on condition. Change in Influence high only Water asset condition is tightly linked to rainfall, in terms of flows and water rainfall and under climate change quality. Changes will be pervasive across the Catchment and water asset run-off regime scenario types and generally detrimental, because drier climate overall, increased drought incidence and intensity and increase in intensity of extreme rainfall events. Increased Influence high only Aquatic ecosystems and incidence of blue green algal blooms is influenced temperature under climate change by water temperature. Changes will be pervasive across the Catchment for scenario aquatic ecosystems and water quality and will generally be detrimental.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 13 Table 3: Summary of drivers and pressures with a high influence on the condition of biodiversity resources in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and the trend of influence under climate change. Biodiversity: native vegetation communities, wetlands and waterways and associated plants, fungi, animals, microbes and genetic diversity they contain STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE DRIVERS OF ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Changing land No change to current Changing land use values interact with land use and management practice use values level of influence change as a driver. While this is not always the case, it has often resulted in increased value on biodiversity compared with production and has contributed to private and public land conservation of biodiversity assets. As climate change adds to pressure on biodiversity condition, this may drive stronger protections (or other interventions) for key biodiversity assets. Water Increasing Currently a positive influence on the condition of biodiversity as has recently availability and provided improved balance of environmental and consumptive water policy reform uses. With reduced rainfall under climate change, competition between environmental and consumptive water uses is likely to increase and water availability for environmental flows likely to reduce, leading to a detrimental influence on biodiversity condition. Climate Increasing Climate has a strong and pervasive influence on biodiversity condition via variability and climate-dependent ecosystem processes. Direction of influence depends change on climate phases, but overall is assumed to be neither detrimental nor beneficial. Climate change is likely to have an overall detrimental influence on biodiversity condition. Land use and No change to current Much of the influence is a legacy, reflecting historical changes in land management level of influence use to agriculture and development of water resources. Land use and change management continues to change with intensification, neglect or improved management. Overall, considered to have negative influence on condition as biodiversity assets continue to decline. Climate change unlikely to directly modify influence on biodiversity condition. STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE PRESSURES ON ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Change in fire Increasing Key pressure on terrestrial ecosystems in forest and alpine areas (trend for regime and excessive frequency) and rural land (trend for insufficient fire). Severe fire management weather to increase with climate change, placing (especially) biodiversity in fire-sensitive systems in public land areas at risk. Cultivation/ No change to current Much of the influence on condition is from historical activity, although, cropping/ level of influence extension of cultivation to new areas (with changing technology and grazing economics) and ongoing grazing is affecting native vegetation remnants in rural areas. No direct modification of influence on condition with climate change.
14 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority STRONGEST TREND OF INFLUENCE PRESSURES ON ON CONDITION UNDER CONDITION CLIMATE CHANGE DESCRIPTION OF ASSUMPTIONS Extreme Increasing Extreme weather, especially fire and drought, adversely affects biodiversity in weather and remnant native vegetation in rural areas and forests on public land. Flooding climate events generally has a positive influence on condition of riparian, wetland and aquatic ecosystems. Climate change to increase adverse effects of fire and drought and may reduce flooding incidence. Invasive plants Increasing Invasive species compete with, displace, damage or prey on native flora and and animals fauna, reducing population and affecting recruitment. Climate change may enable the introduction of new invasive species. Irrigation – Increasing Much of the influence on condition is a historical legacy of changes in flow regulation, and water regimes. While NRM programs are seeking to reduce negative drainage, influence, this pressure still contributes to a negative trend in biodiversity diversion and condition. Climate change will reduce water resource availability and likely storages increase detrimental impact on biodiversity condition. Change in Influence high only under Ecosystem processes tightly linked to rainfall. Changes will be pervasive rainfall regime climate change scenario across the Catchment in all ecosystem types and generally detrimental because drier climate overall and increased drought incidence and intensity under climate change. Increased Influence high only under Ecosystem processes are linked to temperature and fire (influenced by temperature climate change scenario temperature). Changes will be pervasive across the Catchment for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and generally detrimental.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 15 5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment’s Natural Resources The combination of exposure Figure 4: Climate change impact assessment framework (adapted from and sensitivity to climate change Schröter undated by Clifton and Pelikan 2014). reflects the potential impact of climate change on the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural Exposure resources (as per figure 4). See Impact figure 5, 6 and 7 for results of the Sensitivity impact assessment. The criteria used for the impact assessment are outlined in table 4 (exposure) and table 5 (sensitivity). Table 4: Exposure assessment criteria with rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014) WEIGHTING EXPOSURE CRITERION CRITERION RATIONALE 1 Maximum Temperature influences landscape processes that are important to all natural temperature: change resource classes and social-ecological systems. Maximum temperatures influence in annual average processes including water balance, fire and senescence in some winter-growing agricultural species. The annual average rather than the seasonal average was selected due to it being able to broadly represent the suite of climate change- related temperature impacts across a year. 2 Average rainfall: Rainfall is a critical influence on landscape processes across natural resource Change in average classes and social-ecological systems and is a key expression of exposure to spring rainfall climate change. River flows and farming systems, particularly, were considered to be much more sensitive to changes in autumn and/or spring rainfall than 3 Average rainfall: changes in annual average rainfall. Climate change is also projected to lead to Change in average changes in seasonal distribution of rainfall, with more change during winter and autumn rainfall spring than at other times of year. 3 Surface water yields: Mean annual flow integrates impacts of changes in rainfall regime (amount, change in mean seasonality and variability), as well as temperature and potential evaporation. It annual flow is a key expression of exposure to climate change for water resources (including irrigation farming and towns). Change in mean annual flow is more relevant to agricultural water uses in irrigation regions than for other irrigation users and the environment. However, it is the only readily available data set that incorporates climate change projections. 4 Waterlogging and Shallow aquifer depth to water table is a key pressure for natural resources in salinity: current the Shepparton Irrigation Region and to a lesser extent in other irrigation areas shallow aquifer depth and parts of the dryland. Shallow water tables are also important in sustaining to water table groundwater-dependent ecosystems, which may be important drought refuges for native fauna. Note: Only current conditions can be used as there is no other consistent data set available for the whole of the Goulburn Broken Catchment.
16 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority WEIGHTING EXPOSURE CRITERION CRITERION RATIONALE 5 Flooding: area Flooding is a critical influence on ecological processes in rivers, wetlands currently inundated and floodplains and also poses an important climate-related hazard for built in 1 per cent annual infrastructure and some land uses. The current 1 per cent annual exceedance exceedance probability probability event is a good guide to flood extent under climate change, although event it is likely that floods in the current 1 per cent annual exceedance probability area may increase in frequency. Recent flood studies have not necessarily considered climate change and hence only current flood extent can be considered consistently across the region. 5 Minimum Temperature influences landscape processes that are important to all natural temperature: change resource classes and SESs. Minimum temperatures influence, for example, snow in annual average incidence and persistence and flowering patterns in agricultural and native species. The annual average rather than the seasonal average was selected due to it being able to broadly represent the suite of climate change-related temperature impacts across a year. Table 5: Sensitivity assessment criteria with rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014) WEIGHTING EXPOSURE CRITERION CRITERION RATIONALE 1 Habitat condition: The condition of native vegetation, particularly in terms of the level of native vegetation fragmentation and disturbance, and its connectivity to large, contiguous areas fragmentation or is considered to strongly influence its vulnerability to a variety of pressures, connectivity including those arising from, or exacerbated by, climate change. These are critical sensitivity issues for terrestrial biodiversity and riparian and wetland vegetation. 1 Habitat condition: native vegetation condition 2 River health: index This is a measure of the condition of riparian vegetation and hence a key of stream condition indicator of river health and the sensitivity of rivers to various pressures, streamside zone including climate change. As this criterion incorporates vegetation condition and connectivity, it partly duplicates the habitat condition criteria. 3 Rarity: native Ecological vegetation class bioregional conservation status was the data set used vegetation range to represent this criterion, highlighting ecological vegetation classes that have a under current restricted distribution. These are considered to be vulnerable to climate change conditions because: • they have a naturally small range and may therefore be adapted to quite specific climatic conditions that may no longer exist at their current locations as a result of climate change. • clearing and other disturbances have modified their natural range and hence they are likely to be subject to a variety of other environmental pressures and hence most likely less resilient to climate change. 3 Land use: current land Land use was classified according to sensitivity to various impacts of climate use change. Data illustrates the variable nature of sensitivity to climate change. 3 Land and soil health Several topography and landform criteria have been included in this criterion, hazards such as slope and susceptibility to various soil health hazards (e.g. acidity, salinity, erosion). This highlights sensitivity to climate change from a land and soil health perspective. 4 Wetland health: The intention was to incorporate a measure of the hydrologic regime proximity to wetlands experienced by wetlands and hence their health from index of wetland condition datasets. However, there is insufficient data to represent the criterion across the Catchment. Proximity to wetlands is used as a surrogate, on the basis that wetlands are sensitive locations due to their dependence on strongly climate- influenced factors such as river flows and/or water tables.
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 17 Figure 5: Impact of climate change on the Goulburn Figure 6: Impact of climate change on the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural resources in scenario 2030. Broken Catchment’s natural resources in scenario 2050. Cobram Cobram Yarrawonga Yarrawonga Nathalia Nathalia Numurkah Numurkah Kyabram Kyabram Shepparton Shepparton Tatura Tatura Benalla Benalla Rushworth Rushworth Euroa Euroa Nagambie Nagambie Seymour Mansfield Seymour Mansfield Mt Buller Mt Buller Alexandra Alexandra Broadford Yea Broadford Yea Kilmore Jamieson Kilmore Jamieson Marysville Marysville Scenario 2030 Woods Point Scenario 2050 Woods Point RCP 4.5 RCP 4.5 Low change: warmer Moderate change: with little change in rainfal hotter and drier Figure 7: Impact of climate change on the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural resources in scenario 2070. Potential Impact Cobram Very Low Yarrawonga Nathalia Low Numurkah Medium 0 20 40 Kyabram High Shepparton Tatura Very High Kilometres Benalla Rushworth Euroa Nagambie Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all decision-making elements but represent an assessment of climate change impact based on spatially-enabled criteria for exposure and sensitivity as part of a climate change vulnerability assessment. Seymour Mansfield Vulnerability is used to highlight locations and issues to focus further analysis, including risk assessment and management. These Mt Buller Alexandra maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change Broadford Yea Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn Kilmore Jamieson Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its entirety. Scenario 2070 Marysville Maps showing the exposure and sensitivity Woods Point RCP 8.5 assessment results independently can be found in High change: much hotter and much drier Appendix B and C respectively.
18 | Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority 6. Vulnerability of the Catchment’s Natural Resources to Climate Change The vulnerability assessment is a Figure 8: Vulnerability assessment framework (adapted from Schröter combination of the impacts and undated by Clifton and Pelikan 2014). adaptive capacity assessment (see figure 8). See figure 9, 10 and 11 Impact for the results of this assessment. Vulnerability Table 6 outlines the criteria used to Adaptive Capacity assess adaptive capacity. Table 6: Adaptive capacity assessment criteria with rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014). WEIGHTING EXPOSURE CRITERION CRITERION RATIONALE 1 Biodiversity and The tenure of private and public land is classified in a way that indicates river health: level of its likely exposure to pressures for disturbances, such as grazing, protection provided cultivation and timber harvesting. It is therefore considered indicative of by tenure adaptive capacity. Protective private land tenures include areas subject to management agreements and conservation covenants. Public land tenure looks at 64 tenure categories derived from the Public Land Management dataset. 2 Irrigation farming: Access to irrigation water supply is considered to be a key measure access to irrigation of adaptive capacity for agricultural land uses, as (in regulated water supply catchments) it reduces dependency on annual rainfalls. 3 Natural resource Previous engagement with NRM programs is considered to be a measure management works of planned adaptive capacity. All forms of NRM program works are considered, including, for example, fencing, revegetation, and waterway rehabilitation. 4 Land: whole farm or Whole farm or property planning is widely used to establish a framework property planning for improved and sustainable management of farming operations in dryland and irrigation areas. It typically leads to other environmental works, including improvements in irrigation layout and drainage and protection and enhancement of environmental assets. As outlined, the vulnerability assessment maps reflects criteria for impacts (exposure and sensitivity) (see section 5) and adaptive capacity (see above). See Appendix D for a map showing the independent results of the assessment of current (from the year 2014) adaptive capacity of the Catchment’s natural resources to climate change. Please note that ongoing investment in management actions will be required to maintain and increase adaptive capacity as climatic conditions change over time (see section 7.5 and 7.6).
Climate Change Adaptation Plan | 19 Figure 9: Vulnerability of the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s Figure 10: Vulnerability of the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural assets to climate change in scenario 2030 natural assets to climate change in scenario 2050 Cobram Cobram Yarrawonga Yarrawonga Nathalia Nathalia Numurkah Numurkah Kyabram Kyabram Shepparton Shepparton Tatura Tatura Benalla Benalla Rushworth Rushworth Euroa Euroa Nagambie Nagambie Seymour Mansfield Seymour Mansfield Mt Buller Mt Buller Alexandra Alexandra Broadford Yea Broadford Yea Kilmore Jamieson Kilmore Jamieson Marysville Marysville Scenario 2030 Woods Point Scenario 2050 Woods Point RCP 4.5 RCP 4.5 Low change: warmer Moderate change: with little change in rainfall hotter and drier Figure 11: Vulnerability of the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural assets to climate change in scenario 2070 Cobram Yarrawonga Nathalia Numurkah Vulnerability Kyabram Shepparton Very Low Tatura Benalla Low Rushworth Medium Euroa 0 20 40 Nagambie High Very High Kilometres Seymour Mansfield Mt Buller Alexandra Broadford Yea Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all Jamieson decision-making elements but represent an assessment of climate Kilmore change impact based on spatially-enabled criteria for exposure and sensitivity as part of a climate change vulnerability assessment. Marysville Vulnerability is used to highlight locations and issues to focus Scenario 2070 Woods Point further analysis, including risk assessment and management. These maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change RCP 8.5 Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn High change: much Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its entirety. hotter and much drier
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