Adelaide Plains Council has thrown its support behind a push to see a second sea level gauge erected in the state, which could help future planning for possible sea level rises and risk management in coastal areas in years to come.
APC councillors were given a detailed and scientific presentation by Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) representatives at its July 17 meeting, where DEWNR Coast and River Murray unit manager, Murray Townsend, spoke to the chamber at length about predicted long-term sea level rises, possible land tilting and flood management in the event of high storm surges.
Mr Townsend said current research indicated sea level rise (SLR) was, on a global scale, increasing by about 3.4mm per year and by the year 2100 it is estimated to rise by between 52 and 98 centimetres.
“Regardless of what we do we are committed to sea level rise for some centuries to come,” he said.
In South Australia the current SLR, according to Mr Townsend’s information, was 1.5mm per year, with the state measuring change since the early 1990s with the aid of gauges at Thevenard on the West Coast of Eyre Peninsula, and Port Stanvac.
The Port Stanvac gauge was removed in December 2010, however, Mr Townsend told councillors the state’s Coast Protection Board was pushing for the South Australian Bureau of Meteorology (SABOM) to reinstall a new gauge at O’Sullivan Beach in the near future.
APC development and community general manager, Rob Veitch, said council supported a motion for a letter of support for the reinstallation of the gauge to be sent to BOM.
“It’s another council adding their support to it,” Mr Veitch said.
“They were two years shy of having a 20-year cycle of data, and they didn’t touch on this (in the presentation), which I think they probably should have.
“That’s what a lunar cycle is, 20 years. It’s been installed in 1992 and taken out in 2010, so there’s your 18 years.
“It only needs another two years of data and we’d have some fairly comprehensive information there.”
Deep Bench Marks have also been established around the state’s coastline, including one at Port Parham in November of last year.