Climate change projections for Australia indicate a greater chance of more arid conditions i.e. warmer and slightly drier for most of southern Australia. Only in the north west of the continent are conditions likely to be warmer and slightly wetter. For rain dependant agriculture this means adapting to slightly less rain on annual averages and perhaps changed seasonality of when rain falls. For irrigated agriculture there is likely to be lower water entitlements and perhaps less reliability of annual allocations. All primary industries will be affected and their chances of adapting in a timely way will be enhanced by access to relevant information and knowledge, setting out the adaptation options and their consequences.
The Water Use theme aims to develop an open network of researchers, policy developers and practitioners who can learn from each other. We will aim to make links with other water related activities e.g. the Centre for Groundwater Research and the PISC recommendations on agricultural water research in Australia. The context of adaptation in this theme will often be set in a regional landscape context in which production goals are considered along with the social, economic and conservation goals.
The theme plans to use existing contacts to build a network of researchers, policy developers and practitioners mostly through electronic communication and to provide these people with timely information on water use issues. We plan to convene a wide ranging forum to develop concept proposals for research and implementation projects that will assist adaptation to different water regimes in primary industries.