Water – Living with hydro-meteorological extremes

Droughts and floods are characteristic of Australia, but continue to be treated as exceptional events. Predictions are that the frequency and severity of these hydrological extremes will increase and may be compounded by meteorological extremes, such as heat waves.

At the same time, our vulnerability to hydro-meteorological extremes has increased because of greater pressure on our water resources.  Australia’s rapid growth has the potential to put ever more people, businesses and infrastructure at risk.  Changing climate, land and water conditions are making some ecosystems more vulnerable.

These ongoing changes have created a major challenge to water management practices, which are overwhelmingly still based on the assumption that the past provides a good guide to the future.  This forum will identify and debate how we may be able to cope better with future hydro-meteorological extremes.  Some questions to be addressed by the presentations and discussion include:

  • What will be the greatest challenges to coping with droughts and floods over the next decades?
  • What new solutions are available, and how can they be implemented?
  • What new information, knowledge, skills and training will be required?

Speakers include:

  • Professor Albert Van Dijk (Chair)  Water Science and Management, Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • Dr Rob Vertessy  Director and CEO, Bureau of Meteorology
  • Dr Martine Woolf  Director of Climate Hazard and Risk, Geoscience Australia
  • Mr Norm Mueller  Principal Hydrologist, GHD Canberra