Resilient South Project

The Resilient South project considers the impact of Climate Change in the Southern Region of Adelaide and identifies key areas requiring the implementation of adaptation measures. It was initiated in 2008/09 at a time when the Region was experiencing substantial heatwaves and severe storm events. The project is an initiative of the cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga and is supported by the South Australian and Australian Governments.

resilient south

Climate Change will impact the Southern Region in different ways. The changes identified in the project report include:

  • Warming temperatures
  • More frequent and intense heatwaves
  • Increased rainfall intensity
  • Decreased annual rainfall
  • Decreased frost
  • Increased number of days of extreme fire danger
  • Rising sea levels
  • Increasing water temperature in Gulf St Vincent
  • Rising atmospheric CO2
  • Rising pH of Gulf waters
  • Increased evaporation

The Resilient South Project also identified ten key areas to be considered for adaptation planning. These provide an interesting insight into some of the challenges we are now facing:

  • Coastal management: How do we maintain the Southern Region’s natural features (e.g. cliffs, beaches, dunes, estuaries, biodiversity) and built infrastructure along the coast in the face of increased risk of coastal degradation as a result of coastal inundation, changes in rainfall intensity and increased temperatures?
  • Water resources management: Given less rainfall overall, more frequent and intense rainfall events, more frequent bushfires, increased evaporation and population densification, how do we manage and optimise all water resources for a range of fit for purpose uses?
  • Natural landscapes: How do we manage natural landscapes and associated habitats on all tenures of land (public and private) in the Southern Region when exposed to warmer and drier conditions, more frequent and intense bushfires and the combined effects of sea level rise and storm surge?
  • Marine biodiversity: How do we protect marine biodiversity given increasing sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification and changing storm water input due to changing rainfall patterns?
  • Vulnerable members of the community: How do we support and facilitate the safety and wellbeing of more vulnerable members of our community so that they are more resilient in the face of more frequent intensity of rainfall events, bushfires and heatwaves, increased temperatures and increased risk of coastal inundation as a result of sea level rise?
  • Emergency services: How can we better manage demand for emergency services given more frequent intensity of rainfall events, more frequent bushfires and heatwaves and increased risk of coastal inundation as a result of sea level rise?
  • Open space and public realm: How do we provide, protect and enhance quality usable open space and public realm in the face of less rainfall, more frequent flash flooding events, higher average temperatures, more frequent bushfires and heatwaves, increased evaporation and greater risk of coastal inundation?
  • Essential services: How do we maintain the continuity of communications services given more frequent intensity of rainfall events and more frequent bushfires and heatwaves?
  • Manufacturing and business: How do we maintain and increase the viability of the manufacturing and business sector given increasing bushfire hazard, flood events and more frequent heatwaves?
  • Viticulture: How do we maintain the productivity of local viticulture given a warmer and drier climate with more frequent and intense bushfires?

For more details and a copy of the final report, see the Resilient South Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan (35.8Mb) and

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One Response to Resilient South Project

  1. Pingback: Choose your local leaders – part 2 | Sustainable in Holdfast Bay

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