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Key climate change issues for Waikato

Climate change

Key climate change issues for Waikato

Drought

Climate change scenarios project decreases in rainfall for the eastern regions of New Zealand in the future, which will mean less rainfall is likely in the eastern parts of the Waikato region as well.

Projected hotspots of future drought exposure in the Waikato region are likely to be in parts of the Hauraki district, followed by the Matamata-Piako and Thames-Coromandel districts.

Under a high temperature increase and low precipitation increase climate change scenario, the Waikato is projected to have significant areas that could be at increased drought risk and reduced water availability for pasture growth (for up to 2 months per year is possible) from 2070 onwards.

Water availability

Climate change

Climate change projections for rainfall in the coming century are not evenly spread in our region. We can expect more extremes and a difference in the distribution with more rainfall in the west and less (droughts) in the north-eastern part of the region. An increase in summer storms on the Coromandel Peninsula is also anticipated.

In summary, our rainfall distribution is expected to be different from the current situation with more intense storms and longer periods of no rainfall that tend towards droughts in some areas. This will affect land use both commercially and for sustainability of our natural ecosystems and indigenous biodiversity.

Weather extremes

The extreme weather events we experience now are likely to become regular events with projected climate change.

We need to start planning now to ensure our communities are resilient from weather extremes in the future.

Sea level rise

Projected sea level rise is likely to affect the way we all do things along our coasts. 

Planning is needed now to ensure our communities are resilient from coastal hazards in the future.

Top three things people can do

  1. Find out more about the carbon intensity of your lifestyle and decisions and then make low carbon purchasing decisions.  For instance use low emission wood burners for heating over coal and gas, reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. If building, use wood in preference to concrete and steel where it is safe to do so.
  2. Reduce your fossil fuel use. Instead walk, cycle and use public transport in preference to private cars.  If a car is needed, share the journey where possible, drive smoothly and, even better, use an electric vehicle
  3. Plant trees as these soak up carbon dioxide from the air and lock it into products.  If you don’t have space join a community planting group as this will help our native birds and plants adapt to changes in the climate by providing a wider habitat range.

Visit these links to find out more:

Coastal issues

River flooding