Hydro-hazards in New Zealand: from alpine water towers to water-scarce drylands
- 54 Pritchatts Road (G10 campus map)
- Wednesday 20 November 2019 (12:00-13:30)
SPEAKER - Dr Daniel G Kingston, University of Otago, New Zealand
New Zealand is a land of hydrological contrasts, with mean annual precipitation ranging from totals in excess of 13,000 mm to just 350 mm over spatial scales of tens of kilometres. Although its small size and landscape complexity means New Zealand rarely shows as a hotspot in global-scale analyses, the country is nonetheless critically impacted by hydro-hazards ranging from floods and droughts to poor water quality, all within the context of a changing water cycle. This talk will focus initially on the role of ‘atmospheric rivers’ in delivering extreme volumes of water to New Zealand, and the challenges of unpacking the various large-scale climate system processes that lead to their occurrence (and subsequent floods). In contrast, the relative absence of atmospheric rivers is a key control on the development of drought conditions. However, the magnitude of hazard events (and drought in particular) can also be strongly influenced by water resource management practices, especially associated with irrigated agriculture.
Followed by a networking lunch.