Grape Growers Adapting to Climate Shifts Early

A recently published article emphasises the importance of strong cooperative approaches to managing our water resources.

Wine grape growers are among those who are responding fastest as their crop is extremely sensitive to weather and climatic shifts. Growers have had to learn quickly how to adapt to safeguard their industry including pruning for better canopy management, growing cover crops to keep the ground cooler and promote soil health, and reducing how much water they use in irrigation.  In the same way, Australia’s broader farming community will also have to draw on similar adaptations by preparing for less rainfall or finding ways to capture the enormous rain bursts in other areas.

While a fix in 2019 of a new pipeline drawing water directly from the Murray Darling Basin has helped Langhorne Creek grape growers overcome an immediate water supply issue, it does not defeat broader climate risk.

This work is part of a broader Australian Research Council (DP210101849) project examining Hydrosocial Adaptations to Water Risk in Australian Agriculture, which is looking at how farmers and decision-makers are working together to adapt their water systems to changing levels of availability and demand.

The original article featured in The Conversation with Dr Bill Skinner, Associate Professor Douglas Bardsley and Associate Professor Georgina Drew contributing.

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