- Devonport City Council - https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au -

Climate Change

Climate Change Adaptation

Council’s Corporate Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2018-2023 aims to improve the capability of the Council to manage 4 key risks associated with climate change, being:

  1. Rainfall & Flooding
  2. Sea Level Rise & Storm Tide
  3. Heat
  4. Bushfire

The development of the Plan was based upon council-specific, climate projection data provided by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) ‘Climate Futures for Tasmania’ program. Devonport’s climate profile can be viewed here [1].

Climate Change Projections By 2100 in Devonport

  • Rainfall is expected to trend towards heavier events interspersed by longer dry periods
  • Rainfall on the wettest day of the year to increase by about 20%.
  • Rainfall volume in 200-year average recurrence interval (ARI) event will increase by up to 35 %
  • River flows will be reduced slightly: Forth River (central estimate -7%) Mersey River -7%. Don River little change 1% (from Local Climate Profile Hobart – Climate Futures Tasmania)

Risks and Adaptation Actions

Risk

Risk level

Adaptation Action

Stormwater system becoming under capacity in areas as a result of more intense, short duration rain events, leading to an increased requirement for upgrade or replacement

Extreme

Adequately resource the Action Plan accompanying the revised Stormwater Strategy – in particular, flood modelling of priority areas

Continue preventative practices prior to and during extreme events e.g. clearing gutters and drains

Increased rainfall / severe weather events leading to increased damage to infrastructure and roads resulting in increased maintenance and clean-up costs

High

Increase resources towards monitoring and maintenance activities

Riparian vegetated buffers to waterways are insufficient to reduce velocity of overland flow during more intense, short duration rain events resulting in erosion of waterways and sedimentation downstream

High

Provide information to relevant sections of the community on the function of the catchments and buffers to waterways with the aim of retaining or revegetating riparian zones

Maintain and where required revegetate riparian zones on Council owned and managed land

Increase in rainfall / flooding / high wind and other severe weather events leading to increased deterioration of roads, bridges, coastal and park infrastructure (e.g. trees, pontoons) resulting in heightened public safety concerns

Extreme

Assess tree damage after high wind & rain events

Climate Change Projections By 2100 in Devonport

  • Sea level is predicted globally to increase by 0.82 m by 2100
  • Inundation along the coastline is expected to increase
  • The current 100-year storm tide event (0.9 to 1.2 m above average sea level) may become a 50-year event by 2030, and a 2 to 6-year event by 2090

Further information on sea level rise impacts including maps can be viewed on the CoastAdapt website [2].

Risks and Adaptation Actions

Risk

Risk level

Adaptation Action

Extreme storm tide events resulting in foreshore erosion and inundation impacting on council owned and managed reserves, parks and facilities resulting in increased costs to the council

High

Advocate to the Cradle Coast Authority (CCA) for a coastal vulnerability study of council assets across the region or state- wide

Sea level rise and increased coastal inundation during storm tide events resulting in areas becoming unsuitable for development or certain land-uses requiring rezoning through the Council’s planning system and preparing for potential litigation issues for the Council

High

Abide with relevant codes of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme

Increased coastal inundation during storm tide events resulting in inundation of Council owned and managed reserves resulting in environmental degradation and loss of coastal values

Moderate

Assess risks, prioritise works and implement dune / foreshore restoration programmes as required

Climate Change Projections By 2100 in Devonport

  • Average annual temperatures are projected to increase by 2.6°C – 3.3°C.
  • The number of days > 25°C is expected to increase to more than 25 days per year.
  • The temperature of very hot days to increase by up to 4°C in some locations.
  • Warm spells (days in a row where temperatures are in their top 5%) will last up to 19 days longer.
  • Extended heat waves and more extreme temperatures are likely to enhance the occurrence and intensity of bushfires.

Risks and Adaptation Actions

Risk

Risk level

Adaptation Action

Increase in vector-borne illness which will have an adverse effect on public health leading to increased pressure on the public health system and potential spread of disease

Moderate

Comply with and support the direction provided by Tasmanian Government Public Health Services

Increased temperatures leading to increased risk of sunburn and heat stress for users of council’s public open space resulting in potential public liability claims and public complaints

Moderate

Ensure sufficient shade – natural or built – is available or planned for when developing new facilities in public open space

Climate Change Projections By 2100 in Devonport

  • An increase in projected bushfire likelihood and intensity across Tasmania

Risks and Adaptation Actions

Risk

Risk level

Adaptation Action

Increased likelihood and severity of bushfire across the Council’s municipal area severely impacting on private property and businesses leading to increased costs

High

Alignment of bushfire management plans for council owned land to ensure appropriate and coordinated fire mitigation practices

Increased temperatures resulting in an increased bushfire risk leading to public safety concerns

Extreme

Improve emergency management & community disaster preparedness and response

Altered fire regimes leading to a change in ecosystem function and reducing resilience of native flora/fauna/communities, particularly threatened species

Moderate

Implement prescribed burning regimes dictated by appropriate bushfire management plans, when resources are available

Progress on each adaptation actions are reported at general Council meetings every year. Progress as of 30 June 2020 can be found here [3].

Council also undertake initiatives to mitigate the impacts of climate change principally through energy efficiency measures as outlined in the Environment Strategy 2019-2024 [4].

Related Resources