Despite recent flooding rains in some parts of Australia, the next drought is coming.
More frequent, severe and prolonged droughts are predicted for many parts of Australia, and rainfall will generally be lower across Southern Australia.
This pressing national challenge requires new responses to improve Australia’s preparedness and resilience before the next drought.
A broad perspective that considers the needs of different stakeholders is required to build economic, environmental and social resilience against drought.
That's why, we are working with government, industry, community, research and investment partners to reduce the impacts of drought by 2030.
We have invested in exploratory projects, as well as worked with partner investments to investigate ways to reduce the impacts of future droughts and build drought resilience.
Making climate data accessible for farmers
In partnership with the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the second prototype of the Climate Services for Agriculture Platform in December 2021. The platform enables farmers to see historical and future climate that could impact their farm, based on their location and what they produce. Access the prototype or find out more in our article 'Climate data for farmers, with the click of a button'.
Driving water banking initiatives
To explore options for increasing water security for agriculture, we completed an assessment of water banking opportunities for the National Water Grid Authority and an analysis of likely costs of water banking.
Building community drought resilience
We developed a framework for assessing community resilience to drought and are working with the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund to assist the development of 23 regional drought resilience plans, with more to follow.
New on-farm solutions
We developed scenarios to test novel de-stocking strategies based on animal genetic or performance data. This will feed into the development of a tool that will enable producers to make critical decisions on livestock. We established field-based experiments to demonstrate the benefits of a new breed of wheat (long-coleoptile) designed for planting when there’s low soil moisture at sowing. Early learnings were recently publicised by the Grains Research Development Corporation.
Engagement with drought hubs
We are developing ongoing engagements with the eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs and developing channels of information exchange that support and enable the translation of science into practice.
Supporting policy response
We are working with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to establish a Drought Early Warning System to support policy decisions as drought conditions develop.