Murray Bridge has run to the front lines of the fight against climate change.
Council staff have drafted a plan that will help the district adapt to changes resulting from a warmer, drier climate in the decades to come.
In a report to councillors, environmental officer Tony Wilson said the evidence was "unequivocal" that the Earth's climate was changing.
The important question to answer now was what to do about it.
"There is no alternative but to undertake adaptation planning, even in an environment of extensive adaptation," he said.
"It is not a case of planning for a different, stable carbon future; but of building the capacity and flexibility to cope with whatever evolving climate may bring."
In particular, he said, local councils would need to deal with increased costs around insurance and road maintenance; changes to building regulations and land use; and the possibility of insect-borne diseases becoming more common.
Cr Fred Toogood praised the document at the council's March meeting, saying it was "real" and would be of practical use to the farmers who would be most affected by climate change.
The state government had already released a climate change plan for the Murraylands, Riverland and Mallee in 2014.
Among the necessary actions highlighted in that plan were the need to raise the height of the barrages on the Lower Lakes by 2024 to cope with rising sea levels, and consider moving or replacing them within 30 years.
They should also be modified to transfer water more quickly, the report said.
A 2013 report by the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board predicted average temperatures at Murray Bridge, Meningie and Lameroo would rise by between 1.1 and 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2050, and that rainfall would lessen by 24 to 42 millimetres per year.
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