More hot days, rising sea levels, severe storms to impact Wellington region in the future, report finds

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Climate change will have major implications for the Wellington region's farming, agriculture and water supply, a new report has found.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council has commissioned a report by NIWA to look at what the region will be dealing with in the future, if climate change continues along the same path.

Wellington city will see a month of "hot days" over 25 degrees and 10 per cent more rainfall by 2090. It currently has only six hot days on average.

While that might sound nice, it will have detrimental impacts on biosecurity, with more pests likely to flourish, as well as major health impacts for residents.

But the Wairarapa will see even more extreme increases, the region currently experiences 24 hot days. That is expected to rise to 94 hot days in 70 years.

NIWA warns farmers need to be prepared for more drought like conditions. But the big fear is the water supply in the region.

The Regional Council said at a press conference today that if water usage in the area continues as is, there will be major shortages in the future.

A NIWA report paints grim picture for future of farming and agriculture in the Wellington region.
Source: 1 NEWS

"The question for us is how do you future proof the system, particularly the water supply…to guarantee you can provide water in the future," Chris Laidlaw told 1 NEWS.

"That's not just for farmers. That's for town supplies, it's for waste water treatment plants. We're all in this together."

The GWRC Chair said he wants local government to have more power so councils are better able to prepare regions for climate change.

Also severely impacted will be those living on Wellington's coasts and along rivers.

"Wellington is particularly exposed to sea level rise. My message to people on the coast is when they're making their decisions about where they are going to live and where they're going to buy, that's something you consider. And that's fine if that's the risk you want to take," Sam Dean, Chief Scientist for Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards at NIWA said.

NIWA predicts the coast line will be battered with more extreme storms. Sea levels have also risen 17 centimetres in the last 100 years; and they are continuing to rise.

"Changes are coming, everyone needs to be prepared whether you're a farmer in the Wairarapa or a person living in Wellington city," Mr Dean said.

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