Celebrating UNSW-GWI's research, people and partnerships.
Welcome to our December GWI newsletter
Welcome to our final newsletter for 2018. In this edition, we report on our collaboration with UNSW’s Institute for Global Development to deliver a new short course on Integrated Regional and Transnational Water Resource Management in East Africa under the Australia Award Scheme; our participation in the OECD Water Governance Initiative held in Zaragoza Spain; and, the excellent work by Martin Anderson and the Connected Waters Initiative to help safeguard ground water supplies in Vanuatu.
Other important events during November and December include; two stimulating presentations in the Water Issues Commentary series by Professor Taha Ouarda of Canada’s National Institute for Scientific Research on statistical hydro-climatology and Professor Dana Cordell from the Institute for Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney on Global Phosphorous Security; the official opening of the Centre for Transformational Environmental Technologies in Yixing China; UNSW’s participation in the 10th GRIHA Summit in New Delhi; and, the successful implementation of a storm water harvesting system on UNSW’s Kensington campus.
Our update on members of UNSW’s water community includes the promotion to Professor of Denis O’Carroll, Director of the Water Research Centre; the award of Scientia Fellowships for Fiona Johnson and Mitch Harley; the announcement of new ARC Discovery projects on Non-urban water governance by Cameron Holley and advanced oxidation for potable reuse by David Waite; and, an introduction to Dr Sina Moradi and his important work on natural organic matter with Water NSW and Sydney Water.
Finally as the year winds down we wish all GWI members, affiliates and supporters a safe and relaxing break over the holiday season and all the best for 2019.
Prof Greg Leslie
Acting Director, UNSW-GWI
GWI joins 11th Meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative
GWI joined the OECD’s Water Governance Initiative (WGI) in October 2018, and participated in the 11th meeting of the WGI in Spain on 12-13 November 2018. Meeting participants gathered to discuss WGI contributions to global development agendas and the 2019-2021 programme of work, to share knowledge and experiences, discuss the role of water governance in circular economy and learn from Spain’s water governance experiences.
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Scholarships available to African candidates for course on Water Resource Management 
In partnership with the UNSW Institute for Global Development, UNSW-GWI is pleased to announce a new short course on Regional and Transnational Water Resource Management in East Africa. The course will be delivered through DFAT's Australia Award Scheme for Africa, which sees scholarships awarded to African candidates to develop their capacity and leadership so that they can contribute more effectively to development in their home countries.
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Safeguarding Vanuatu's water
The UNSW Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre and the University of the South Pacific (USP) are collaborating on research into groundwater resources in the Vanuatu archipelago. The UNSW team is undertaking a project on the impacts of climate change on island groundwater resources, aiming to quantify Vanuatu’s groundwater resources and climate-related hazards to safeguard water quality and quantity in the future.
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GWI supports GRIHA Summit in New Delhi
UNSW-GWI recently supported the 10th Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Summit in New Delhi.
The 10th GRIHA Summit had the theme “Fostering Partnerships for Sustainable Habitat, A specific session on the topic of ‘Water Stress: Perplexing Possibilities’ was held on the Wednesday, with Prof Greg Leslie, Acting Director of the UNSW Global Water Institute, moderating the session.
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UNSW opens environmental research centre in China
UNSW Sydney has opened its first overseas research centre in Yixing, China, dedicated to driving research and commercial opportunities in environmental protection, especially water treatment, resource recovery and environmental management and sustainability. The UNSW Centre for Transformational Environmental Technologies (CTET) will focus on advanced oxidation to destroy non-biodegradable and toxic substances in water, electrochemical technologies for contaminant removal and resource recovery, and development of new generation membranes that help minimise pollutants and energy use.
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UNSW increases landmark water sustainability initiative as University grows
UNSW is installing a second rainwater capture and reuse pit under Kensington campus, which will reduce stormwater damage and replenish water supply for the local area. UNSW is expanding its landmark rainwater capture project with the installation of a second percolation chamber below the Kensington campus. The additional pit will help drain storm water from 90% of the campus into the Botany Sands Aquifer which lies beneath the University
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Is it climate variability or climate change? The adaptation dilemma.
Climate change is a hot topic, being explored and observed in depth by researchers, fiercely debated by politicians and recently named the ‘defining issue of our time’ by the United Nations. Among the scientists studying these phenomena is Professor Taha Ouarda, an expert in the field of statistical hydro-climatology and risk analysis at the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS-ETE) in Canada. Prof Ouarda delivered the UNSW-GWI seminar on Wednesday 21 November, where he demonstrated that the separating the two is not always easy.
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In the spotlight
Denis O’Carroll to be promoted to Professor
Congratulations to Denis O’Carroll from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who will be promoted to Professor as at 1 January 2019. A/Prof O’Carroll is a Future Fellow with expertise in the fate of engineered nanoparticles, and his ongoing research projects include developing nanometals for contaminated site remediation, investigating the environmental fate and ecotoxicity of nanoparticles released from commercial products, improving the understanding of the fate of nonaqueous phase liquids in the subsurface and developing climate change mitigation measures in urban areas.
Scientia Fellowships awarded to Dr Fiona Johnson and Dr Mitchell Harley
Dr Fiona Johnson and Dr Mitchell Harley, both from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, have each been awarded one of the highly sought-after UNSW Scientia Fellowships for 2019. Dr Fiona Johnson's research focuses on understanding the science of rainfall extremes, while Dr Mitchell Harley is a leading researcher in the field of continental shelf dynamics, wave climates, coastal modelling and real-time early warning systems for coastal hazards.
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ARC Discovery Grants awarded to A/Prof Cameron Holley and Prof David Waite
Australian Research Council Discovery Grants were awarded to GWI's A/Prof Cameron Holley and Prof David Waite in November, for funding commencing in 2019. A/Prof Cameron Holley and his colleagues will critically evaluate the practices and strategies of non-urban water compliance and enforcement in Australia and internationally, to identify and develop innovations for water governance. Prof David Waite and his colleagues aim to introduce a water treatment process suited to the effective removal of trace contaminants from wastewaters such that the treated waters are suitable for discharge to pristine environments or to reuse for potable purposes. Overall UNSW received 88 of the 229 grants funded by the ARC, which was the highest number of successful grants for any administering institution nationally in the last round.
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   In Profile
Introducing Sina Moradi, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Sina Moradi grew up in a town in Iran with a small river running through it. As a child, he often swum in the river during the summer holidays and wondered whether the clear water meant it was clean—or whether there may have been something invisible in the water that could make it harmful to swim in. Later in life, Sina completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering-Process Design in Iran. During his studies, his environment-related courses gave Sina the opportunity to learn more about water issues and possible solutions to current challenges in water research. He credits one of his lecturers, Dr. Behzadi, for encouraging him to complete a Ph.D. overseas, which is how he found himself at UNSW Sydney.
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P: +61 (2) 9385 5097
E: gwi@unsw.edu.au
UNSW Global Water Institute
Kensington Campus, NSW, 2052
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