Strategic Adaptation and Mitigation options

>  North Central CMA

In developing the Plan a key focus was on identifying and assessing practical, flexible and feasible adaptation options for land managers and communities.

Options focused on improving the adaptive capacity of natural assets are described in Table 2.

Table 2 Adaptation options for each broad type of natural asset (Rivers and floodplains, wetlands, Biodiversity & soils)



Climate Change Variables


Reduced and more variable rainfall

Increased temperatures, and extreme heat

Increased intensity and frequency of rainfall events (including flooding)

Increased frequency and intensity of fire

Adaptation Options –

Rivers and floodplains

Increase extent of riparian vegetation and improve connectivity of corridors to provide shading of rivers.

Provide environmental flows.

Protect summer base flows (regulation of timing / magnitude of extraction).

Protect refuge areas for fish and aquatic fauna in conjunction with pest species programs.

Establish riparian vegetation.

Restore in-stream habitat

Control competing aquatic species (plant and animal).

Maintain ground cover in strategic areas.

Support geomorphic recovery through works (vegetation and structural).

Manage flashy surface water inflows in urban / agricultural environments through swale drains and constructed wetlands.

Explore opportunities for large-scale floodplain restoration to buffer against flooding.

Focus fuel reduction burning to protect vulnerable/fire sensitive vegetation along rivers and floodplains.


Plan to mitigate the potential impacts of fuel reduction burning and wildfire on sediment/pollutant runoff to rivers.


Adaptation Options – Wetlands

Remove existing artificial barriers or lowering ‘commence to fill’ levels.

Explore opportunities to deliver water to isolated wetlands through irrigation infrastructure

Prevent disturbance to those wetlands subject to over grazing or land use intensification/cropping.

Control weed and pests to improve condition and adaptive capacity.

Improve connectivity between wetland habitats.

Establish buffers of native vegetation and reinstatement of wetland vegetation.

Reinstate, where possible, natural hydrology to allow for movement and retention of floodwaters.

Manage ‘flashy’ surface water inflows in urban / agricultural environments through swale drains and constructed wetlands.

Focus fuel reduction burning to protect vulnerable/fire sensitive vegetation around wetlands.

Consider fire management in wetland planning.

Adaptation options – Biodiversity

Protect high quality remnants as reservoirs of regeneration potential.

Weed control to improve quality and condition.

Use a range of seed provenances in revegetation programs to maintain/extend genetic diversity.

Plan and implement revegetation activities to better match local and seasonal climatic conditions.

Improve connectivity through targeted revegetation and remnant management.

Actively manage to reduce threats (e.g. over grazing) on existing remnants.

Develop and integrate productive tree (and perennial vegetation) systems, including farm forestry, that provide significant benefits in terms of carbon sequestration, run-off, watertable control and water quality.

Increase extent and connectivity of riparian and floodplain vegetation to reduce impact of extreme events.

Where appropriate, promote natural regeneration in riparian and floodplain environments.

Match burning / fire regimes to tolerable fire intervals.

Identify and protect ecosystems with high sensitivity to fire.



Adaptation Options – Soils

Manage soils to reduce compaction. Minimum tillage, and retaining stubble, reduce potential for nitrous oxide loss and increase soil carbon, while also improving productivity.

Change to rotational grazing in order to increase soil carbon and improve water retention.

Increase on-farm water storage capacity.

Increase irrigation efficiency and re-use where applicable.

Spread production over a range of areas within the region to different irrigation or rainfall zones.

Introduce new varieties more tolerant of water stress.

Change crops to more water efficient varieties.

Provide shelter and shade from extreme heat, through vegetation establishment or use of shade structures.

Provide sheltered watering points.

Trial new pasture and crop varieties.

Increase ground cover through grazing management.

Shift joining time to avoid birth and lactation during summer periods.

Improve and increase flood warning systems.

Maintain groundcover to mitigate against erosion.

Adopt alternative grazing strategies

Consider timing of planned burns and risk of rainfall events / flooding to reduce downstream impacts.

Use ground cover crops to protect paddocks at flood risk during time of year when floods most likely.

Implement on farm strategies to protect assets (e.g. firebreaks), fuel reduction burning on freehold land.

Take out additional insurance

Develop a property level fire management plan

Increase the effort to control invasive plants and animals after fires