Welcome to our GWI April newsletter
The Welcome to Country at the 11th Symposium on Tastes, Odours and Algal Toxins in Water, hosted by UNSW
Welcome to our GWI April Newsletter
Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, which covers a range of exciting events and activities running nationally and internationally. On the people front, we welcome the awe-inspiring Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation winner, Professor Ana Deletic, as UNSW's new Pro Vice-Chancellor Research. Ana is a passionate and highly respected urban water specialist, and we look forward to having her on board in July. We also congratulate Grantley Smith, Manager of our Water Research Laboratory, on his election to Fellow of Engineers Australia. Finally, we are very pleased to welcome Leesa L’Episcopo, who has recently joined the GWI team as our new Administrative Officer.

The booming hydropower industry worldwide is truly a story of our time and a great backdrop to Pichamon Yeophantong's fascinating article on game changers in China's dam diplomacy. In his March GWI seminar, Dave White provided a spell-binding account of water management in the Colorado River Basin, including future testing of Phoenix's water policies under a 30-year mega-drought. Iain Skinner describes our capacity building activities in Myanmar, while John Triantafilis describes the latest technology for soil water and salinity mapping, currently being trialled in India.

Closer to home, we profile our Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices, along with PhD student Kingsley Griffin who is exploring the technologies and benefits of improved marine-bed mapping. Professor Iain Suthers highlights the amazing ocean research opportunities provided by Australia's Research Vessel Investigator, whilst Graeme Clark and Emma Johnston reflect on the nation's coastal challenges following their assessment for the 2016 Australian State of Environment Report.

Professor Nick Schofield
Director, UNSW-GWI
Mer Island
'Water is Life' launched at UNSW
UNSW’s Michael Crouch Innovation Centre recently celebrated the launch of a new book, ‘Water is Life’, authored by the late Colleen McCullough.‘Water is Life’, published by UNSW Press, explores a subject close to McCullough’s heart – the role of water in human history, and Australia’s urgent need to harness vastly more of its power. The book also traces the career of innovative Australian industrialist, Michael Crouch AO, who introduced 70 countries to instant boiling water and demonstrated how Australians can lead the world in the creation of new products and technology. The launch highlights UNSW’s commitment to water research and solutions through the Global Water Institute.
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Mike Dove and Libby Fabian at the oyster hatchery where Libby is working on oyster spat nutrition
Renowned water expert appointed UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)
UNSW has recently appointed Professor Ana Deletic, a renowned urban water specialist, to the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research). Initially from Serbia, Professor Deletic undertook her PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Aberdeen, before moving to Monash University in 2003 where, as Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Engineering, she built an internationally recognised research team in urban water management. She is also the only woman to have received the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (Physical Sciences) in its 18-year history.
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WaSH Tanzania
GWI researchers report on Australia's coasts
The 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) Report was recently released by the Australian Government, with GWI’s Dr Graeme Clark and Professor Emma Johnston preparing the important chapter on the current state, and future outlook, of Australia’s vast coastlines.The report found that the current state of the coastal environment is tightly correlated with human population and agricultural or industrial development. While coasts are in a satisfactory state in the north-west and far north-east of the country, coasts in the east, south-east and south-west of Australia are looking much direr.
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C-SHOR MoU Signing
GWI to lead voyage on RV Investigator
Come September, researchers, ship and marine enthusiasts may have the opportunity to see and explore the Research Vessel Investigator, a new state-of-the-art research vessel cleverly designed as a ship for all the sciences. From 30 August, UNSW and Sydney Institute of Marine Science will lead a 19 day voyage on the RV Investigator to explore the fisheries ecosystems of the western Tasman Sea – from production to predation. The voyage will travel from Brisbane to Sydney, docking at the Garden Island naval yard on 18 September.
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Photo credit: Irene Dowdy, MDBA
Game changers in China's dam diplomacy
In a new study, UNSW researcher Pichamon Yeophantong has uncovered how activists opposing the Chinese-financed Myitsone Dam on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River succeeded in derailing this controversial project—and changed China’s approach to dam-building in Southeast Asia in the process. Yeophantong, a Lecturer in International Relations and Development at the UNSW School of Social Sciences, has found there is now a heightened level of understanding in China than ever before that having a ‘social license to operate’ is integral to the success of large-scale infrastructure schemes.
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Landon Halloran
Advanced time-lapse imaging of soil-water dynamics
The volume of water contained within soil is fundamental to agriculture as it significantly affects the growth of plants. However, the universally-accepted method for estimating soil water content is labour-intensive and time-consuming, taking 24 hours to sample soil and measure the loss of water. An alternative and far more efficient approach has recently been developed by UNSW in collaboration with the University of Sydney, offering a more in-depth understanding of water delivery systems and assisting with the implementation of more effective irrigation practices.
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C-SHOR MoU Signing
Building capacity in Myanmar

Late last year, GWI hosted six engineers from the Myanmar Government at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory, where they completed an intense two weeks of professional development on physical and numerical hydraulic modelling. The 2016 visit was the most recent face-to-face engagement in a collaboration between UNSW Engineering and Myanmar dating back to 2013, when the Faculty began a relationship with Myanmar’s preeminent engineering university—Yangon Technological University (YTU).
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C-SHOR MoU Signing
Transformational solutions for water sustainability in the Colorado Basin and beyond
In the Western USA’s Colorado River Basin, very dry conditions over the past 16 years have severely impacted water supply. While the engineered system in the Colorado basin has performed exceptionally well over the past 100 years, now, the natural system is not providing enough water to meet these demands. Professor Dave White from Arizona State University spoke about these challenges at the UNSW-GWI’s Seminar Series event on Thursday 9 March, remarking that while potential impacts could be catastrophic, the crisis also provides an opportunity to transform outdated systems and policies which no longer support the needs of the basin.
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GWI in the Spotlight
Greg Leslie shares lessons from Australia with Vietnam
GWI's Greg Leslie Greg recently spoke to a high level vietnamese delegation about Australian water reforms and how Australia has developed private sector involvement in water services. Greg Leslie is the director of the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at UNSW.
Grantley Smith elected a fellow of Engineers Australia
Congratulations to Grantley Smith, who has been elected a Fellow of Engineers Australia. Grantley received his certificate at a luncheon at NSW Parliament House last Friday 31 March, recognising his contribution to the engineering profession over the last 27 years, particularly his research in water resources and floodplain management.
   In Profile
Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices

The Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices (ACSMP) is a leading authority on sustainable mining practices, focused on minimising the impacts of mining activities on water resources and ecosystems. ACSMP engineers, who are part of the UNSW School of Mining Engineering, collaborate with water experts across GWI to provide the best solutions for mine water and waste. Dr Wendy Timms from ACSMP was recently appointed to the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development, joining a panel of eight experts that provides scientific advice to decision makers on the potential impacts resource development projects may have on Australia's water resources.
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Karen File and daughters, Marley and Matilda. Credit: Timothy Hewatt
Introducing PhD student, Kingsley Griffin
Impacts from human activities such as land use, urbanisation and marine infrastructure are affecting habitat within marine environments all over the world—including reefs within Sydney Harbour. To sustainably manage these critical systems, we need to be able to understand the complex ecological interactions taking place within these environments. Kingsley Griffin, a PhD candidate within the UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, is helping us do just that. After completing his BSc Honours in 2012, Kingsley worked in environmental consulting for a top international firm for around two years. It was while in this position that Kingsley identified a grave need for improved marine mapping that could more accurately reflect intricate ecological patterns to aid informed decision-making.
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Upcoming Seminar: Building public and private value through voluntary water stewardship
The next GWI seminar, “Building public and private value through voluntary water stewardship”, will be presented by Michael Spencer, Chairman of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) on Thursday 27 April. Founded in Australia, AWS is a multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to enhancing water stewardship capacity, and guiding, incentivizing and differentiating responsible water use. Michael will outline the work of AWS at the seminar and also provide an introduction to the AWS Standard in a session to follow.
Register now

Abstracts close 14 April - Hydraulics in Water Engineering Conference
The National Committee on Water Engineering and Engineers Australia is pleased to invite delegates to the 13th Hydraulics in Water Engineering Conference, to be held at the DockSide, Sydney, on 13-16 November 2017. The Scientific Committee is inviting authors to submit abstracts on a range of themes, from coastal and riverine hydraulics to infrastructure, and much more. To submit your abstract, use the template from the conference website, and email to abstracts@hiwe2017.com.au by this Friday 14 April.
More information
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Professor Nick Schofield
Director, UNSW-GWI
E: n.schofield@unsw.edu.au
P: +61 (2) 9385 5097
M: +61 (2) 435 579 209
UNSW Global Water Institute
Kensington Campus, NSW, 2052
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