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Perth Laboratory – Public Seminar Series 2010


The effect of climate change on surface water runoff in south-west Western Australia

Dr Richard Silberstein
CSIRO Land and Water
Water for a Healthy Country Flagship

Thursday 22 April 2010 at 3.30pm, CSIRO Auditorium

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Abstract:
CSIRO recently released the findings of the South-West Western Australia Sustainable Yields Project – the most comprehensive assessment of water yields and demands to 2030 ever undertaken for south-west Western Australia. The project reported on four major components: surface water, groundwater, environment, and yields and demands. This seminar will present results from the rainfall-runoff modelling and projections for stream flows determined from the projected climate for 2030 from 15 Global Climate Models (GCMs) with three global warming scenarios (thus presenting 45 future climate scenarios) to a suite of rainfall-runoff models. The climate scenarios were equivalent to global temperature rises of 0.7, 1 and 1.3 degrees Celsius by 2030. Fourteen of the 15 GCMs used project rainfall declines over the region, with a median decline of 8 per cent. The rainfall runoff models project that this will result in a median decline in runoff of 25 per cent. This projected decline is a continuation of the trend in runoff which has already been experienced over the last 35 years. Proportional decline in runoff is greatest in the northern part of the project area but the greatest volumetric declines are in the wetter basins in the southern part. Our projections are for a substantial reduction in the frequency of high runoff yielding years and a reduction in the area producing high levels of runoff.

About the speaker
Dr Richard Silberstein was team leader for the surface water component of the South-West Western Australia Sustainable Yields (SWWASY) project. He is currently a principal research scientist in the Groundwater Hydrology Program of CSIRO Land and Water. In addition to the SWWASY project, he leads the Western Australian Water Foundation Project “Vegetation dynamics and water yield under changing climate and management” which aims to improve prediction of stream flows with the response of forests to management interventions and adaptation to climate.

Dr Silberstein specialises in vegetation interactions with soil and water, particularly in relation to water catchment and recharge management and has worked on land management and hydrological issues including recharge below plantations, catchment water yield, nutrient loss from farm land and eutrophication of estuaries, dryland salinity and drainage in agricultural lands, and use of plantations to address land degradation issues.

This research was delivered through CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship.


This seminar is the second in a series of four to present the results of the South-West Western Australia Sustainable Yields Project. Next seminars in the series...

Thursday 29 April: Environment by Dr Olga Barron
Thursday 6 May: Water Yields and Demands by Dr Don McFarlane


For seminar information email Perth Seminars or phone (08) 9333 6221
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