Refining Community Vulnerability Across the Murray-Darling Basin: Exposure Measures

Changes are occurring in rural and regional communities in the Murray–Darling Basin as a result of climate change, water availability, water trading, global markets, population movements and ongoing social change. Impacts of these issues and responses to them by Basin communities will be mediated by their adaptive capacity, resilience and vulnerability to change.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) commissioned this project to measure the vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of Basin communities to changes in water availability—due to a range of factors—in order to inform MDBA planning and decision-making.

The aim of the project was to increase understanding of community socioeconomic circumstances in the Murray–Darling Basin and to provide a readily accessible metric with which to compare the vulnerability of communities across the Basin. A set of measures of community vulnerability to changes in water availability was developed, drawing on and adapting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change framework (Allen Consulting 2005). Composite indices were derived to spatially examine differences across regions and communities and these were mapped for the Basin.

Completed in 2011

Funded by: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Contact: Ian Reeve