The latest news from UNSW's water community.
 
Welcome to our June Newsletter 
 
 Welcome to the June edition of the GWI newsletter. This month GWI was pleased to participate in the 12th meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative in Berlin. A feature of the meeting was the launch of the report titled, “Applying the OECD Principles on Water Governance to Floods: A Checklist for Action”. The OECD estimates that by 2050 20% world’s population will be at risk of extreme flood and the report emphasised the importance of coordinated flood planning. A similar message was reinforced in a report by Dr Valentin Heimhuber of UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory and partners in the NSW Government and Macquarie University, which assessed the effects of climate change on estuaries which has potential to impact 80% of the population in NSW. Meanwhile, members of UNSW’s water community marked World Oceans Day by sharing what the ocean means to them and celebrating the outcomes of five significant scientific projects delivered by teams under the umbrella of UNSW’s new Centre for Marine Science and Innovation.

During June, students from the faculties of Engineering and the Built Environment had the opportunity to work with the Dharriwa Elders Group on efforts to build a water resilient community in Walgett. The work focused on improving water use at the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service community garden. It was a privilege for the students to work with inspirational indigenous leaders and be part of broader program focused on healthy hydration and nutrition. Many communities in Western NSW are dealing with critical water shortages, however, the situation in Walgett was recently compounded by the loss of the town’s only supermarket to fire. The Dharriwa Elders Group have responded by launching a food appeal that will accept donations to support the community.

This month's newsletter contains a profile on Jing Jia who is working towards a PhD on urban water planning in the Faculty of the Built Environment with Urban Water Resilience Lab, and details on the next Water Issues Commentary seminar to be delivered by Dr Erin O’Donnell from the University of Melbourne, who will speak on the implications of giving legal rights to rivers. Finally, we conclude this month’s newsletter with the news that UNSW has consolidated it’s place in the top 10 for water resources in the prestigious Shanghai world subject rankings; a great reflection on the outstanding contributions to water research by all members of the water community at UNSW.

I hope that you enjoy this newsletter and thanks again for your continued interest and support.

Professor Greg Leslie 
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
 
   News
OECD meeting
GWI attends OECD Water Governance Meeting
 
Professor Greg Leslie recently attended the 12th Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Water Governance Initiative on 20-21 June in Berlin. During the meeting, a report titled "Applying the OECD Principles on Water Governance to Floods: A Checklist for Action" was launched, using the OECD Principles on Water Governance, developed through the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) as a tool for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and practical assessment of the performance of flood governance systems.
 
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Sencer B Yilmaz
UNSW opens New Centre for Marine Science and Innovation
 
UNSW has recently opened the Centre for Marine Science and Innovation  (CMSI), focusing on researching fundamental knowledge on the functions, processes, interactions and changes in the marine environment and using this to develop innovative solutions for management, conservation and economic developments. CMSI's expertise covers a multidisciplinary mix of ecological and biological sciences, physical and biological oceanography, environmental impact assessment, as well as coastal geomorphology and engineering.
 
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walgett
Drought-proofing the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Community Garden
 
During the month of June, students from the faculty of the Built Environment and Engineering had the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing efforts to “drought proof” the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Community Garden. This work is part of a broader program to improve community wellbeing through a healthy hydration and nutrition program at a time of prolonged water shortage in the Namoi and Barwon.
 
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Estuary - unsw
Taking on climate change in estuaries
 
Two out of three Australians and four out of five people in NSW are likely to have significantly altered lifestyles if estuaries – tidal rivers and harbours – become impacted by climate change. To address this risk, UNSW Sydney’s water engineering researchers (working with NSW’s Government Scientists and Macquarie University) have today launched a free online resource that enables scientists and all levels of government to assess and act on threats posed to our coastal estuaries by climate change.
 
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Unsplash - Sean O
Celebrating World Oceans Day
 
World Oceans Day is a global awareness day on the United Nations' calendar, with hundreds of events around the world celebrating oceans on June 8. This year, the theme for World Oceans Day was “Gender and the Ocean” – “an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of humankind’s relationship with the ocean.” To help celebrate, some of UNSW's leading researchers shared what the ocean means to them. 
 
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ARWU
UNSW remains in world top 10 for water
 
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019 results were published this week, with UNSW again in the top 10  in the world for water resources. At number seven, UNSW is the top university for water in Australasia based on six objective indicators including awards, citations and publications. UNSW also had more disciplines in the top 100 than any other Australian university.
 
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   In Profile
Jing Jia
Introducing Jing Jia, PhD Student
 
Jing Jia grew up in China, which is currently experiencing urbanisation on a never-before-seen scale. After becoming a mother, she begun to pay more attention to the living environment of the city and is currently exploring more sustainable methods of superblock development in China through her PhD research. Jing’s PhD is focusing on the relationship between Chinese superblock development and ‘sponge city’ development – a green water management policy that promotes learning from nature.
 
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   Upcoming events
Erin O'Donnell
Legal rights for rivers: a paradox for water governance
 
When rivers are legally people, does that encourage collaboration and partnership between humans and rivers, or establish rivers as another competitor for scarce resources? Dr Erin O’Donnell is an Early Career Academic Fellow at Melbourne Law School and a water law and policy specialist. She is presenting on this topic at the next GWI Water Issues Commentary seminar on 10 July, drawing upon her internationally-recognised research into the groundbreaking new field of legal rights for rivers, and the challenges and opportunities these new rights create for protecting rivers' multiple social, cultural and natural values.
 
Register now
   Contact
 
UNSW-GWI
P: +61 (2) 9385 5097
E: gwi@unsw.edu.au
 
 
UNSW Global Water Institute
Kensington Campus, NSW, 2052
 
 
 
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