A new discussion emerged that the modelling of the MDP Plan does not factor in climate change “in any meaningful way” as reported by ABC Radio National Breakfast (22/6/2015).
Prof Young explained that a few months ago, several Murray Darling Basin Authority staff published a paper that implied that the MDB plan took full account of climate change risks. Quite a few of Australian scientists, including himself, were surprised by the statements made in this article.
Concerned about this several years ago, Prof Young proposed an ongoing arrangement that would allow continuous changes to be made to the Sustainable Diversion limit.
As quoted by the ABC,
‘My sense at the time, talking to the board, was that they realised to make the change they’d have to go back and change or amend the act and convince the governments to do that and it was just all too hard,’ he says. ‘It was better to leave these two issues— how to deal with climate change and how to adapt in the future—to future boards and future governments.’
Prof Young suggested that:
‘Now that the MDB plan is in place, it is time to start talking about ways to improve it.’
He suggested a mechanism that allows continuous adjustment of the limits set in the plan as climatic conditions change is one such improvement.