Event summary: Local level water management in a changing climate

On Wednesday 21 January 2015, Clearwater in partnership with the CRC for Water Sensitive City and the City of Boroondara delivered the half day event: Local level water management in a changing climate.

The workshop provided attendees with an opportunity to hear from leading experts in the field and actively discuss how to address issues practically.

The event attracted 70 participants from a range of industry sectors including local government, consultancies, water authorities, education and research institutions and state government. The day featured a wide range of expert presentations and discussion sessions providing attendees with the opportunity to network and share experiences.

Presentations included:

Climate model downscaling research and techniques 
Prof Christian Jakob, Monash University and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Christian's presentation delved into downscaling techniques and explained why they are being used. He focussed in particular on the significance of uncertainties and on the importance of embracing them. 

Climate change in Australian Rainfall and Runoff
Assoc Prof James Ball, University of Technology Sydney and Engineers Australia

As the technical editor responsible for the current revision to Australian Rainfall and Runoff  (ARR), James gave a general background to the flood estimation techniques used in ARR before providing guidance about how to take into account climate change for rainfall and storm design calculations. He finished his presentation with the current terminology used in the ARR document. 

Climate change and urban Water - Managing the risks 
Eleanor McKeough, Melbourne Water

Eleanor's presentation focussed on the evolution of climate risk approaches and the current risk assessment processes used by Melbourne Water. She took the audience through the example of the Western Regional Water Balance, stressing the fact that climate risk management is an ongoing process of engagement, review and improvement, and showing that using a service delivery approach to assessing risks can help to prioritise actions.

Greening the West in a changing climate
Clare Lombardi, City West Water

Clare's presentation summarised how the Greening the West project, led by City West Water, is identifying and responding to broader climate change impacts and what role water management plays in it. She delved into the strategies, goals and targets of the project, and shared some of the learnings that have been gained so far.

WSUD in a changing climate
Kerrie Burge, E2DesignLab

Kerrie presented an interesting case study from Mornington Peninsula Shire, interrogating the validity of today's WSUD projects for tomorrow's climate. Modelling with different scenarios showed that current WSUD assets are still appropriate design solutions for the future as long as they are well designed and constructed, and they can be part of solutions to provide resilience to urban landscapes.

Coomoora Reserves - Environmental water requirements
Bertrand Salmi, City of Greater Dandenong

Bertrand's presentation highlighted an innovative solution, based on an ecosystem-focussed approach, to provide adequate water to Eucalyptus woodlands, who are at risk of drought, urbanisation and climate change. 

We thank all of our presenters and our fabulous MC - Caroline Carvalho from Knox City Council - for a very informative and engaging event.