For a safe, resilient future

Climate change is real.

It’s happening here. It’s impacting on our land and wildlife, livelihoods and lifestyles. We see the extreme weather events it brings—floods, droughts, fires—and rising sea levels.

In our communities and businesses, we’re all vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of climate change. That’s why, at ORC, we’re committed to making climate change a consideration in everything we do.

We’re finding out as much as we can about what climate change really means for Otago communities so we can plan for it well and our communities are able to adapt.

Reflecting the growing importance of this issue in our communities, we’ve already accelerated our LTP work programme. In 2020-21 this pace will continue.

Our work includes gathering information to better understand climate change risks. Understanding risk as best as we can means we’re able to help our communities deal with climate change. By leading the way and sharing our research and understanding, we can support communities to make the best possible decisions.

Understanding the risks of climate change and its impacts on Otago’s coastline, groundwater, infrastructure assets (such as flood banks), and land stability, is vital to informing the actions our communities choose to take. That’s why Dunedin locals might have seen us working in South Dunedin to understand groundwater levels. We’re also taking action to assess our own flood protection infrastructure, to ensure they’re ready for climate change.

We also face the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Understanding our region’s emissions will help with the daily and longterm choices we all make. We plan to assess CO² emissions for the Otago region, explore options for low emissions public transport, and assess our own greenhouse gas emissions. Our proposal for a ferry service in Queenstown and our collaboration with Dunedin City Council on bus fare options are two examples of how we’re incentivising car-free, low-emission travel. Together with our communities, we’re preparing for and tackling the challenges of climate change.

We’re finding out as much as we can about what climate change really means for Otago communities, like...

Protecting our communities

This coming year, we’re assessing how the Lower Clutha Flood Protection Scheme is performing, to understand more about how it will cope with the extra pressures of climate change.

The scheme protects communities, farmland and industry from the flood hazards of the Lower Clutha floodplain and delta.

The likelihood of more frequent high winds, storms and sea level rises, means we need to learn more about how it will respond to these kinds of events.

Getting ready

This year, we’ve been assessing the potential region-wide risks that climate change could create.

It’s a major project, building our knowledge about potential future scenarios, risks and consequences.

This coming year, we’ll use this information to understand how Otago could adapt to climate change, and what it could mean for how we live, work and thrive in the future.

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