The climate of the Peel-Harvey Catchment and South West region has changed significantly over the past 50 years, and is predicted to continue to change over coming decades (CSIRO & BOM, 2007).
The impacts of a changing climate is having significant implications for natural resource management, emergency management, and development. Studies into climate change have occurred at all scales, including global and regional, and cover possible causes, consequences and mitigation strategies.
The major climate change trends occurring in the Peel-Harvey Catchment are a decline in annual rainfall, by approximately 10% from 1969 and by a further ~20% after 2000 and a general mean temperature increase, particularly after 1975. For the south-west of Western Australia, including the Peel-Harvey Catchment, future climate change is predicted to mean (CSIRO & BOM, 2007):
- further increased average temperatures
- further decreases in rainfall
- increased frequency and intensity of storms
- sea level rise.
These changes in climate have a significant impact on the availability and management of natural resources, particularly water resources and biodiversity.
Management of our Catchment is informed by scientific evidence and modelled predictions to ensure that we invest public funds and resources in the most effective manner, to try to protect the natural assets that are fundamental to our Peel-Harvey Catchment.