Celebrating UNSW-GWI's research, people and partnerships.
Photo by Pete Johnson from Pexels
Welcome to our August GWI newsletter
It’s been an exciting few months for GWI, and we begin with the exciting announcement that UNSW is now ranked 5th in the world for water resources. This has seen us jump up a place since the last ShanghaiRankings were released in 2017, and now placed us first in the Asia-Pacific region. For the subject of Marine and Ocean Engineering, we also jumped up two places from 16th to 18th - another outstanding result.

This issue provides a glimpse into just some of the research occurring across many aspects of water treatment by our researchers, students and partners—resulting in lives being changed in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and other parts of the world.

We also celebrate our collaborative partnerships which allow us to broaden the range and depth of our expertise, access unique and diverse skills and perspectives and take concrete steps to put our skills and research into action. As the host of the IWRA Oceania Chapter, IWRA’s newest regional chapter, we were thrilled to host a webinar on “Water Challenges of Oceania: Today to 2025’. We were also invited to participate in a planning meeting on the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, in Singapore, and we have joined the Global Framework on Water Security in Agriculture. Closer to home, we have partnered with Southern Cross University to set up new National Centre for Flood Research. 
We hope you enjoy reading about these stories and more.
Prof Greg Leslie
Acting Director, UNSW-GWI
UNSW Winning in Water
UNSW ranked 5th in world for water resources
UNSW has moved up the ranks over the past twelve months and is now the fifth best university in the world for water resources. In its 2018 subject rankings, released on 17 July, the influential ShanghaiRankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) placed UNSW 5th in the world for water resources, and 1st in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, UNSW is ranked 16th in the world for marine and ocean engineering. These new rankings affirm UNSW’s position as a true world-leader in water.
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Impact Engineers Team
Impact Engineers provide clean water for two Sri Lankan villages
Student-led project team, Impact Engineers, embarked on a trip to Sri Lanka last month for the official grand opening ceremony of their clean water initiative, the Pathuma Reverse Osmosis (RO) Project. The Pathuma RO Project provides clean water for two villages in Sri Lanka, giving communities access to drinking water which is safe for long-term human consumption
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Ocean plastics
GWI enabling students to tackle global plastic pollution at the river basin level
GWI is coordinating a multi-country effort with partner universities in Indonesia, India, Fiji and China to investigate waterways that serve as major arteries of eventual ocean microplastics. Supported by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, 15 UNSW students will travel to the four countries in early 2019 to undertake a multidisciplinary research investigation. 
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Asia PacificWater Forum meeting
Asia Pacific Water Forum 22nd Governing Council Meeting
Prof Greg Leslie took part in the 22nd Governing Council Meeting of the Asia Pacific Water Forum (APWF) in Singapore on Thursday, 12 July. During the meeting, participants representing water organisations from all over the Asia-Pacific reviewed the outcomes of the third Asia Pacific Water Forum and the 8th World Water Forum, discussed international trends and regional initiatives, and decided on the goals for the APWF for the next three years.
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ANSTO Hack Participants
Students tackle chronic dehydration in Sri Lanka
Nearly 40 inquisitive university students from several universities converged upon UNSW's Michael Crouch Innovation Centre recently at the H2Go Clean Water Hackathon, run by ANSTO in partnership with GWI. The students were tasked with  identifying novel approaches to address chronic dehydration in Sri Lanka, which is thought to be linked to chronic kidney disease.
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Water challenges of Oceania
Water challenges of Oceania: Today to 2025
As the host of the IWRA Oceania Chapter, IWRA’s newest regional chapter, the UNSW Global Water Institute was thrilled to host a webinar on “Water Challenges of Oceania: Today to 2025”. The webinar topic was designed to draw out the unique challenges and opportunities Oceania presents and engage a multidisciplinary panel and audience in a discussion on the most urgent water challenges in Oceania, and those on the horizon that need to be prepared for.
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Dr Denis O'Carroll
GWI researchers receive million-dollar grant to investigate PFAS-contaminated water
UNSW Engineering researchers  have recently received $1.4 million in joint Australia Research Council and industry funding to develop a new treatment technology to treat water contaminated with Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Commonly used for fire suppression, the PFAS class of chemicals has rapidly become one of the biggest emerging contaminants of concern worldwide due to the extremely low concentrations of regulator concern and its prevalence in drinking water sources around the world.
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IWRA logo
Call for applicants to join the IWRA Oceania Board
The inaugural IWRA Oceania Chapter is calling for applications to the Board. Representation across all of Oceania is sought for the Board; Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, New Zealand, Australia. Equality, diversity and inclusion is a key criteria of the Board selection process with women, members of disadvantaged groups and youth representatives encouraged to apply. Applications close 30 September 2018.
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WASAG Partnership
GWI joins the Global Framework on Water Security in Agriculture
GWI has  recently joined the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture in a changing climate (WASAG) Partnership, hosted by the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).  GWI looks forward to sharing knowledge with the WASAG network on topics such as agricultural, potable and environmental water scarcity, climate change adaptation, irrigation efficiency, water and wastewater sanitation, education and capacity building, and working in partnerships to inform smart policy, robust governance and resilient institutions.
Read more
WASAG Partnership
Anthropogenic debris symposium
A successful one-day anthropogenic debris symposium was held at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) on Tuesday 21 August, attended by 45 scientists and policy-makers from Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Organised by UNSW, University of Sydney and SIMS, with support from SETAC Australasia and the Australian Research Council, the symposium explored the current scientific understanding and management of the sources, fate and impacts of different sizes and types of anthropogenic debris to marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats. 
Ragali Community, Vietnam
Vietnam's Ragalai community to receive safe water

Denis O'Carroll, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Director of the UNSW Water Research Centre, visited central Vietnam in July 2018 with the Catalyst Foundation as part of an aid mission. The primary goal of A/Prof O’Carroll’s trip was to help the Ragalai community access safe drinking water. Currently, their current water supply consists of a piping system from two mountain waterfalls.
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Dr Zafaar Adeel
Women as Agents of Change in for Water Security: A focus on conflict and post-conflict situations in the Middle East

The Arab region is severely water-stressed, and further exacerbating the issue of water security in the region is the disproportionately high number of refugees and internally displaced persons due to ongoing conflicts. In the GWI’s August seminar, Dr Zafar Adeel, Executive Director at the Pacific Water Research Centre at Simon Fraser University, discussed the way conflict in the Arab region is affecting the most vulnerable populations in the region – most notably women and girls—who are forcibly displaced from their homes and facing a multitude of water challenges.
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In the spotlight
Bojan Tamburic
Dr Bojan Tamburic joins NHASP team
Dr Bojan Tamburic has recently joined the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering as the Melbourne Water Lecturer on the Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science-Practice Partnership (NHASP), UNSW Water Research Centre, As well as delivering teaching, Bojan will conduct independent research in the area of water engineering and management in collaboration with the NHASP with Melbourne Water and other partners.
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   In Profile
Chris Owens, Professional Doctorate Student
Chris Owens is a Senior Analyst for Service Planning and Asset Strategy within the Liveable City Solutions team at Sydney Water. Chris has chosen to investigate the implementation of water treatment target by undertaking a professional Doctorate in Public Health. He is  studying under the UNSW ‘Future Health Leaders’ program, which is tailored to people already working in health and run in partnership with the workplace.
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National Centre for Flood Research
The National Centre for Flood Research (NCFR) is an international partnership using cutting-edge science to find world-class, practical solutions to address the multi-dimensional aspects of floods and their impacts. The aim of the NCFR is to work with partners from a variety of institutions to reduce the economic, social and ecological impact of flooding, through the application of best available knowledge from the social, environmental and engineering science
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    Upcoming Events
Riversymposium logo
21st International Riversymposium
As a gold sponsor of the 21st International Riversymposium (Sydney, 14-18 October), GWI will be running a Learn-Inspire-Transform session on the topic of 'Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Implementing the Targets', as well a study tour to our Tomago Wetland restoration site. We invite you to participate in these events, meet our people and enjoy the many networking and professional development opportunities that Riversymposium has to offer. A draft program for the event is now available at riversymposium.com
Register now
6th Australian and New Zealand Cyanobacteria Workshop
Keynote speakers have been announced for the 6th Australian and New Zealand Cyanobacteria Workshop, to be held at the UNSW Kensington Campus, Sydney, on 25-26 September 2018. Dr Mark Matthews will be presenting on 'The CyanoLakes online monitoring and mapping service for cyanobacteria blooms and water pollution', while Prof Sandra M. F. O. Azevedo will present on 'Toxic cyanobacteria: an example of interrelation between environment and health'.
Register now
P: +61 (2) 9385 5097
E: gwi@unsw.edu.au
UNSW Global Water Institute
Kensington Campus, NSW, 2052
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