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Planning for Change: Understanding the Murray-Darling Basin

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Planning for Change: Understanding the Murray-Darling Basin Beyond the Count ABS conference Jim Donaldson 4 March 2011 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Planning for Change: Understanding the Murray-Darling Basin


1
Planning for Change Understanding the
Murray-Darling Basin Beyond the Count ABS
conference
  • Jim Donaldson

4 March 2011
2
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3
Aim of presentation
  • To provide a taste of how Census data has been
    used to make a difference in water resource
    planning in the Murray-Darling Basin
  • discuss some of the challenges involved policy
    and information

4
The Murray-Darling Basin
5
The Murray-Darling Basin
6
Murray-Darling Basin
  • 14 of Australia (size of Spain France)
  • Directly supports 3 million people
  • Feeds approximately 20 million people
  • Significant environmental values
  • Australias three longest rivers
  • 40 Australias farmers
  • Gross value of agricultural production 15b (40
    Australia) irrigation 5.5b (15)
  • Agricultural exports earn 9b/year
  • Home to 34 major Indigenous groups

7
Hydrology of the Basin
7
8
Growth in Basin diversions
8
9
Consumptive water use
10
Current Trend
Total Water (GL) Water Use (GL)
Historical Climate 23,417 11,327 (48)
2030 Median Climate 20,936 10,876 (52)
2030 Dry Extreme 15,524 8,962 (58)

(CSIRO Water Availability 2008)
11
Ecosystem Health Assessments by Valley, 2004-07
12
The need for water reform
  • Return extraction of water to a more sustainable
    level
  • Support ecological health of the Basin
  • Build a more certain future for communities
  • Sustain economic output over long term
  • Manage water resources for future generations

13
Building on past reform
1901 Constitution
1914 River Murray Commission
1987 Murray-Darling Basin Commission
1990s Cap on Diversions Water markets
2010 Guide to the proposed Basin Plan
2008 COAG Agreement
2007 Water Act Murray-Darling Basin Authority
2004 National Water Initiative The Living
Murray
13
14
Whats the issue?
  • Rebalancing water use in the MDB
  • Whats the right balance?
  • Trade-offs optimise economic, social and
    environmental outcomes
  • Measuring the benefits and the costs
  • Water Act sets environmental thresholds

15
The planning process
How much additional water does the environment
need?
What are the potential impacts on the community?
What are the sustainable diversion limit
proposals?
How to manage the transition?
15
16
What we were asked to do
  • Describe social and economic circumstances of
    Basin communities dependent on Basin water
    resources
  • Assess the likely economic and social
    implications of setting SDLs and developing the
    Basin Plan
  • Inform setting of SDLs OPTIMISE outcomes
  • Report on implications to government

17
Socio-economic assessments
  • 16 studies undertaken
  • Baseline socio-economic circumstances
  • Review of structural adjustment pressures
  • Economic modelling and analysis
  • Local community profiles and assessments
  • Indicators of community vulnerability
  • Effects of SDLs on Indigenous people
  • Assessment of benefits
  • Responses of financial institutions to changes
  • Cost benefit analysis

17
18
Socio-economic context report
  • Description of Basin communities
  • Baseline
  • Data store
  • Community profiles
  • Monitoring and evaluation

19
Rural population trends
20
Population Projections - Basin
21
Population trends 2001-06
22
Population change by region
23
Indigenous population change
24
Population Age by Sex
25
Employment 2001-06
26
Key trends and messages
  • Population is growing in the Basin
  • There is a shift from remote to urban
  • Employment in the Basin is growing
  • Young working population declining
  • However, employment in agriculture is declining
  • Provides some baseline data

27
Analysing impacts on community
  • Impact of different water reductions
  • Impact of reductions on different farming sectors
  • Off-farm or flow-on impacts (to business and
    community)
  • Impact of reduction at Basin and regional scales

27
28
Reports
29
Community vulnerability
  • Project on Indicators of community vulnerability
    and adaptive capacity across the Murray-Darling
    Basin
  • Undertaken by ABARES

30
What is community vulnerability?
  • Vulnerability the degree to which a community is
    susceptible to pressures and disturbances, such
    as climate change or socio-economic processes
  • The key questions
  • Who is more vulnerable?
  • Why are particular populations vulnerable?
  • How do the vulnerabilities of regions compare?
  • to reductions in water availability for
    consumptive purposes across the Basin

31
Vulnerability and its components
Exposure
Sensitivity
Potential Impact
Adaptive Capacity
Vulnerability
32
The project approach
  • Composite indices - a widely accepted method for
    developing socio-economic indicators to measure
    change
  • Based on a review of the literature related to
    indicator development using variables from census
    data sets
  • These variables were theoretically derived and
    statistically verified to represent the
    constructs being measured

33
Criteria for indicator development
Parameters Output capability What was used
Scale Basin and sub-regions Census Collection Districts (CCDs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) Can be concorded, aggregated and disaggregated to desired scale
Data sources Comparable and reliable data that can be used to develop meaningful indicators of the constructs ABS Census of Population and Housing ABS Agricultural Census
Timescale Comparable with past and future data collections 2006 Census data
34
Sensitivity
  • a measure of how dependent a community is upon
    the resource that is changing e.g. irrigation
    water

Sub-index
Components
Indicators
Volume of irrigation water applied on farms
Agricultural businesses irrigating
Water dependence
Sensitivity
Local economy agricultural dependence
Farm employment Agricultural processing and
downstream employment
35
Adaptive capacity
  • Ability or potential of a community to adapt or
    change its characteristics or behaviour to cope
    better with change

Components
Sub-index
Indicators
Economic diversity index
Local economic diversity
Education levels Housing Income Employment Age
structure Mobility
Adaptive Capacity
Human capital
Volunteering rates Women in non-routine jobs
Social capital
36
Community vulnerability
  • The degree to which a community is susceptible to
    pressures and disturbances, such as climate
    change or socio-economic processes

Sub-index
Composite index
Sensitivity
Vulnerability
Adaptive capacity
37
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38
Community vulnerability
39
Murrumbidgee vulnerability
40
Murrumbidgee sensitivity
41
Murrumbidgee land use
42
Why is Coleambally more sensitive?
Coleambally Griffith
Very high proportion of agricultural businesses irrigating Moderate proportion of persons employed in agriculture and downstream agri-industries High level of agricultural businesses irrigating Low proportion of employment in agriculture and downstream agri-industries
43
Murrumbidgee adaptive capacity
44
Why is Coleambally less adaptive?
Coleambally Griffith
Economic diversity Low economic diversity Human capital Low level of unemployment Low proportion of single parent families Low proportion of persons aged over 65 Moderate proportion of persons aged 15 years and over with no post secondary school qualification Low level of rented properties Social capital Low proportion of people volunteering Moderate proportion of women in non-routine occupations Economic diversity High economic diversity Human capital Moderate level of unemployment Low proportion of single parent families Low proportion of persons aged over 65 High proportion of persons aged 15 year and over with no post secondary school qualification Low level of rented properties Social capital Low proportion of people volunteering Low proportion of women in non-routine occupations
45
Interpreting the output
  • Interpret at highest level, highlighting
    communities with high degrees of vulnerability
    to changes in water access
  • Investigate reasons for differences in community
    vulnerability by examining the underlying
    variables (e.g. regional comparison example)
  • Aggregate results to other geographies
    depending on scope of analysis
  • Establish a baseline measure for monitoring

46
Economic Modelling
  • Modelling of economic implications of potential
    reductions in water availability
  • Agricultural sector and regional flow-on effects
  • Changes in value of irrigated agriculture
  • Regional economy impacts (Gross Regional Product,
    Employment)
  • Data from other sources e.g. Agricultural Census
    and surveys, Water Account

47
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48
Key messages
  • Census data is critical to understand the
    structure, dependencies and changes occurring in
    communities
  • But Census data is insufficient for analysis of
    effects of water reform
  • This brings challenges in ability to match and
    analyse data consistency and compatibility

49
Data issues and challenges
  • Prediction is very difficult, especially about
    the future! (Niels Bohr)
  • Currency of data for use in modelling
  • 2006 and 2001 data challenge of looking forward
    when data is already old
  • E.g. 2006 a drought year and face of rural
    Australia has reportedly changed much in the last
    5 years
  • Ability to match data from different sources and
    aggregate / disgregate
  • Economic data, water data, land use data, social
    data
  • E.g. agricultural census / surveys and Popn
    Census

50
Data issues and challenges
  • Ability to cut data flexibly for non-standard
    geographies
  • Ability to do time series analyses
  • Data is often not available at a regional scale
    and / or not frequently enough to meet priority
    data needs, e.g.
  • Regular agricultural data
  • Small area wealth data
  • Water use data at a regional scale
  • Water practices and behaviour

51
Thank you
  • ABS
  • ABARES
  • Particular thanks to Nyree Stenekes from ABARES
    for information on indicators of community
    vulnerability
  • MDBA team
  • www.mdba.gov.au
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