2009 – Climate Implications on Water Supply in South East Queensland

M. Amghar, A. Watt, C. Thorstensen

The future effects of climate change on water resources in the southeast Queensland and other parts of Australia will depend on trends in both climatic and non-climatic factors. Evaluating these impacts is challenging because water availability, quality and streamflow are sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation. Other important factors include increased demand for water caused by population growth, changes in the economy, development of new technologies, changes in catchment characteristics and water management decisions. In Southeast Queensland, concern for climate change has increased in recent years with research on global climate change applied to part of Southeast Queensland and it has become apparent that the region’s climate has changed in recent times. Studies have shown that Southeast Queensland’s climate has been variable over history and in the present, is experiencing continuing sea level rise, and may experience
significant climate warming. The potential effects of climate change on coastal erosion, water availability, flood control, and general water management issues have been raised and widely discussed from a variety of perspectives.

This paper presents results of an integrated economic-engineering resource assessment optimisation model of Seqwater’s water supply system illustrating the value of optimisation modelling for providing an integrated approach needed to manage a complex multipurpose water system. Overall, the approach has its own limitations, but provides useful insights on the potential for operating the current or proposed infrastructure for different future conditions.

Keywords: Brisbane Water supply, Moreton, water resource plan, optimisation, environmental flows.

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