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Sustainability Assignment On Extreme Climatic Events In Australia


Prepare a sustainability assignment illustrating the sustainability concerns of Extreme Climatic events in Australia


It is stated herein sustainability assignment that within the contemporary environment, Sustainability is the development that helps in meeting the present needs without negotiating the capability of the proactive generation for meeting their own needs. Thus, as opined by Caball and Malekpour (2019), it is the way of development that is beneficial for the widest categories of sectors, across the border and among the generations. Thus, the present study highlights the sustainability concern based on the perspective of the three dimensions such as social, environmental and economic by focusing upon the scenario of Extreme Climatic events in Australia along with the response to this concern to maintain sustainability.

As stated by NeelamBasera (2016), Sustainability is considered as the paradigm for the thinking regarding the future within which social, economic and environmental consideration are needed to be balanced to follow the development and the enhancement of quality life. It can be evidenced that the population within the world is increasing on a regular basis and practicality, the overall growth will mainly be in the developing continents like Africa and Asia and also in the developed countries like, Australia, UK and USA. Thus, this increase in the population will multiply the strains upon resources and the system that are already insufficient in many areas of the world. According to the studies of Deo, Byun, Adamowski & Begum (2017), there will be extreme climatic conditions that may result in drought, floods, plague and much more, due to humans contributing to global warming. However, these consequences of extremity in climatic events are inevitable and are getting accepted by the humans with no other options left. Hence, the sustainability paradigm is the crucial transition form the earlier paradigm of economic development along with its detriment environmental and social consequences.

The present study deal with the Extreme Climate Events such as Droughts occurring in Australia as the country has warmed its climate by over just 1 degree Celsius since 1910 to the present day condition, which is leading to the increase within the frequency regarding the extreme events of heat and also the rise in the severity of drought consequences at the period of low average rainfall. As argued by Evans, Meng& McCabe (2017), the yearly changes within the Australian climate is mainly associated with the natural variability of climate such as the La Nina and the El Nino within the tropical Pacific Ocean along the phases of Dipole within the Indian Ocean. Thus, now this natural instability occurs upon the top warming trends that modifies the impact of such natural drivers upon the climate of Australia. Hence, due to such extreme heat conditions, the rainfall in Australia is highly unstable and is greatly influenced by the above mentioned phenomenon and thus, there is the shift approaching to the drier condition in the southeastern and southwestern part of the country. The drying within the recent decades over southern Australia refers to the most sustained high scale transition within the rainfall in the national rainfall records since1990. As evidenced by Gallant, Lewis, Adamu& McGregor (2019), 20% decrease in rainfall in 1970 to the decrease of 26% in 1999 which reduced to more 11% in 2018. However, Australia has encompassed the period of Millennium Drought in from the 1997 to 2016 across the southwestern and southeastern region.

Annual rainfall in sustainability 1

Figure 1: Annual rainfall in Australia since 2016
Source: (Annual climate summary, 2020)

The prime sustainability concerns against the perspective of three fundamental dimensions within the Australian region
The Millennium Drought between the period of 1997 to 2016 has served as the reminder to the whole world as well as Australia regarding the all around impact that the drought has caused upon the economy, environment and the social condition of the country, and thus, the impact are as follows,

The Millennium drought had a substantial and direct impact upon the economy of Australia as it had resulted in the reduction of livestock counts, led to the destruction of crops and hoover, and has even culminated in soil erosion and huge loss. As explained by Jiao, Williams, Rogan, De Kauwe & Medlyn (2020), the loss in the local production has moved towards the huge effect on the regional employment, processing based on local condition along with the other dependent business and commercial industries and also top both the export earning as well as domestic prices of food. Thus, the Millenium Drought has caused the contribution within the agricultural production and also to the fall in the gross domestic production (GDP) rate from 2.9% to 2.4% in between the year of 2002 to 2016. Moreover, it was also estimated that the Millenium Drought between the year 2006 to 2016 had reduced the rate of the national GDP roughly by 0.75% and however, in between 2007 to 2015, the rate of the regional GDP within the southeastern region of Australia had confronted the fall of nearly 5.7% that was below the forecast. Thus, as evidenced by Lam, Lant & Kenway (2018), due to such fall in GDP there was a loss in the employment area which accompanied with the temporary diminishing counts of 6000 jobs.

The Millennium Drought got associated with the decline in the marks of the water birds, aquatic plant and fish population within the southeastern regions of Australia that is the Murray-Darling Basin. However, many of the terrestrial environment and the ecosystem were also affected through the Millennium Drought along with the iconic and exclusive species like the river red gum were dying in the extensive areas of the Murray-Darling Basin during such crisis conditions. This drought has also posed the severe risk for the planted forest as during the millennium drought more than 57000 ha of the plant forest within Australia were vanished which is equivalent to the area of 28,500 pitches of cricket. Thus, as observed by Li, Bush, Ward, Sullivan & Dong, (2016), the combination of less rainfall along with the lower inflows in the rivers recorded the history meant flow across the border in South Australia that got virtually ceased long with the unprecedented impacts. The water supply in the Adelaide area was threatened and the pipelines were constructed for delivering the drinking water into the communities in lower lake areas and to the sustained industries of horticulture. There was pressure created on the horticulture and agriculture industries along with the other regional communities due to the severe restriction imposed on nearly 4000 irrigators of South Australia for getting water. Furthermore, nearly 33 wetlands got temporarily disconnected for helping to save water that risked long term damages in the Australian ecosystem. Thus, the lower lae area git dried up that exposed acidic soils with closing the Murray Mouth that forced the around the clock widening that ensured the salts and the other pollutant to get flushed out from the system of river (Lindsay, Dean & Supski, 2017).

The social condition consisted of the health and the supply of water in urban areas of Australia. The droughts had wide reaching impacts upon the health that included the effects on the infectious diseases, nutrition on the forest fire which caused the air pollution, on the mental health of the people like the post traumatic distress and the suicidal tendencies. Thus, the drought contributed to the increase in the rate of mortality along with declining physical health which were also particularly prevalent among the elderly within the drought impacted rural communities within Australia. The drought even exacerbated the issues in mental health and got associated with the increase of the rates in suicide specially among the male farmers. As argued by O'Loingsigh et al., (2017), the study upon South Wales found that the relative suicidal risk git increased upto 15% for the males in the rural areas due to the increase in severity of Drought.

The water scarcity within the major cities of the country such as in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne had been aggravated by the Millennium drought consequences and it remained as the ongoing challenge within the nations. As of the year 2016, more than 89% of the populations in Australia were living in the urban areas which consisted of the megacities and however, this higher population in the urban courts started placing higher demands upon the supply of water as the population was gradually growing. Hence, the pressure upon the water supply in the urban areas was produced for intensifying as the drought was increasing in frequency along with the severity within the southeast and southwest region of Australia (Peterson, Peel &Saft (2019).

Annual rainfall in sustainability 2

Figure 2: Millennium Drought in Australia
Source: (Sawada and Koike, 2016)

The responses given towards these concerns which could have helps in adhering the sustainability in Australia
As evidenced by Sheng & Xu (2019), the Millennium Droughts had prompted the unprecedented transitions within the ways through which Australia tries to manage its water supply and had reinvigorated the water reforms under the way by the commonwealth government and the states. However, the recent policies in water supply has granted much more power to the government along with acce;eating the development of the water trading along with the initiatives that are market based. The institutional reforms have been aimed at improving long term resilience along with resolving the economic damages caused by the drought. Meanwhile, the wire suppliers of the urban area had confronted with the dwindling supply imposed restrictions along with moving forward with the projects of increasing the supplies like the desalination, storm water capture, water recycling along with the reduction in the demand through improving the efficiency of the utilised water and changing in the practice of the water-use.

As opined by Ueda, Peel & Kanae (2019), the water reforms has been influenced by the political philosophy of neoliberal which favors fiscal conservatism along with the application of the free markets economy that caused some to argue the economists that has been given the disproportionate influences over the water policy. Hence, after the severe drought caused within the Australian regions, the policy makers of the country pursued the policies which focused upon the use of economics along with free market ideas for enhancing the public services. The wave of the privatization of the governmental services were under specific assumptions such as when the business competes, the consumers start getting the best deal and hence, those enterprises which follow such practice will be running more efficiently along with the lower cost. The process of the water reforms had been closely and thoroughly tied up to the economic reform which was designed for removing the restriction within the competition. Thus, the goals were undertaken to promote “competitive neutrality” along with the idea that the government should not incur or enjoy the advantages over the provider of the private service by virtue of the ownership in the public sectors. Furthermore, as argued by Zhao, Velicogna & Kimball (2017), there were certain policies and strategies undertaken by the Australian government such as National Water Policy, Management of agriculture water and Management of Urban Water, which proved to be efficient in mitigating the problems associated with the shortage of available water, after the drought conditions.

As the exclusive management of the state began the change after the occurrence of the Drought they culminated the framework of the water reforms which was adopted by the Council of the Australian Government in the year 1994. According to Wheeler, MacDonald & Boxall, (2017), eventually, the NWP was established the National Commission for water for overseeing the implementation of the policy, which played a major role in the conservation of water and ensuring its supply to the populations of Australia. The Australian Government initiated the water management Agriculture sectors, which refers to the use of water in such a way that it helps in providing the animals and the crops the optimum water they require along with enhancing the productivity and conserving the natural resources regarding the benefits of the downstream user along with the ecosystem (Zhang & Guo, 2016). The Australian government implemented the policies of managing the urban water that ensures the access of sanitation and water infrastructure and the services through managing rainwater, runoff pollution, wastewater, along with controlling the water borne diseases and the epidemics that helped in reducing the risk of the water relevant hazards that include droughts, floods and the landslides.

The present study highlights the sustainability concerns which are related to the Extreme Climate Events like Drought occurring to the Australian regions along with its impact upon the economic, social and environmental conditions of the country. However, the responses provided by the Australian government for mitigating such crises like the Millenium Drought period have also been mentioned within the study

Annual climate summary 2016. (2020). Retrieved 27 March 2020, from

Caball, R., &Malekpour, S. (2019). Decision making under crisis: Lessons from the Millennium Drought in Australia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 34, 387-396.

Deo, R. C., Byun, H. R., Adamowski, J. F., & Begum, K. (2017). Application of effective drought index for quantification of meteorological drought events: a case study in Australia. Theoretical and applied climatology, 128(1-2), 359-379.

Evans, J. P., Meng, X., & McCabe, M. (2017). Land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhanced the millennium drought in south-east Australia.

Gallant, A., Lewis, S., Adamu, M., & McGregor, S. (2019, January). The connection between protracted drought and extreme precipitation during recent decadal-scale drought episodes. In Geophysical Research Abstracts (Vol. 21).

Jiao, T., Williams, C. A., Rogan, J., De Kauwe, M. G., &Medlyn, B. E. (2020). Drought Impacts on Australian Vegetation During the Millennium Drought Measured With Multisource Spaceborne Remote Sensing. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125(2), e2019JG005145.

Lam, K. L., Lant, P. A., &Kenway, S. J. (2018). Energy implications of the millennium drought on urban water cycles in Southeast Australian cities. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 18(1), 214-221.

Li, S., Bush, R. T., Ward, N. J., Sullivan, L. A., & Dong, F. (2016). Air–water CO2 outgassing in the Lower Lakes (Alexandrina and Albert, Australia) following a millennium drought. Science of the Total Environment, 542, 453-468.

Lindsay, J., Dean, A. J., &Supski, S. (2017). Responding to the Millennium drought: comparing domestic water cultures in three Australian cities. Sustainability assignment Regional environmental change, 17(2), 565-577.

NeelamBasera, 2016. “Sustainable development: a paradigm shift with a vision for future” International Journal of Current Research, 8, (09), 37772-37777.

O'Loingsigh, T., Chubb, T., Baddock, M., Kelly, T., Tapper, N. J., De Deckker, P., &McTainsh, G. (2017). Sources and pathways of dust during the Australian “Millennium Drought” decade. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(2), 1246-1260.

Peterson, T. J., Peel, M. C., &Saft, M. (2019). Do catchments recover from droughts?: A statistical analysis of hydrological resilience throughout Victoria, Australia. AGUFM, 2019, H13E-07.

Sawada, Y., & Koike, T. (2016). Ecosystem resilience to the Millennium drought in southeast Australia (2001–2009). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 121(9), 2312-2327.

Sheng, Y., &Xu, X. (2019). The productivity impact of climate change: Evidence from Australia's Millennium drought. Economic Modelling, 76, 182-191.

Ueda, R., Peel, M. C., &Kanae, S. (2019). Statistical analysis of vegetation response to the Millennium drought in Southeast Australia. AGUFM, 2019, H23H-14.

Wheeler, S. A., MacDonald, D. H., & Boxall, P. (2017). Water policy debate in Australia: Understanding the tenets of stakeholders’ social trust. Land Use Policy, 63, 246-254.

Zhao, M., Velicogna, I., & Kimball, J. S. (2017). A global gridded dataset of grace drought severity index for 2002–14: Comparison with pdsi and spei and a case study of the australia millennium drought. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 18(8), 2117-2129.

Zhang, D., & Guo, P. (2016). Integrated agriculture water management optimization model for water saving potential analysis. Agricultural Water Management, 170, 5-19.


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