The NSW Office of Water is responsible for the management of water resources throughout NSW. To effectively manage the State's water resources into the future we need a sound understanding of future climate and runoff conditions to inform decision-making.
A 2008 report on NSW climate change impacts, Future Climate and Runoff projections (~2030) for New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, provides the first detailed understanding of the impacts of climate change on runoff and water availability across the region.
The study was conducted by the NSW Office of Water (Dr. Jai Vaze, Senior Research Scientist, and Ms. Jin Teng, Senior Natural Resources Officer) in collaboration with CSIRO Land and Water and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. Most of the modelling shows an overall decrease in the average annual rainfall, with winter rainfall likely to be lower across the entire region. However, only a minority of the models indicate a reduction in future summer rainfall.
In NSW the results of this study will be used to look at the impacts of future flow sequences on river health, aquatic ecosystems and water availability for towns, irrigation and industry, as well as the impacts of future climate and runoff on Living Murray icon sites and wetlands.