The latest news from UNSW's water community.
Photo by Marek Okon on Unsplash
Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash
Welcome to our December Newsletter 
Welcome to our final GWI newsletter for 2019. The year closes with the sobering news of communities in NSW devastated by the mega bushfires as well as rural and regional towns that are continuing to cope with prolonged drought. We hope that the holiday season offers some respite and that conditions improve for these communities in the new year. 
On a positive note, we are pleased to report that the end of the year brings a measure of success for our friends at the Dharriwaa Elders Group in Walgett who have successfully trialled a new planting system at the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Services community garden. The new system has the potential to allow the garden to produce fresh vegetables for the WAMS clients while complying with stringent water restrictions operating in much of central west NSW. December also saw the successful opening of the Manly Dam Exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery. The exhibit contained new pieces by eight Australian artists inspired by the physical beauty of the bushland around the dam and the work of engineers and scientists at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory. During December, GWI also participated in the annual GRIHA Summit, which focuses on sustainability and efficiency in buildings and urban design. The summit was cosponsored by the The Energy and Resource Institute and held at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi.
This month we also congratulate Matthew Kearnes and Daniel Robinson from the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Jacqui Webster of The George Institute and Tommy Weidman from Civil Engineering on their promotion to Professor. These promotions recognises sustained excellence in research, impact and engagement. We also congratulate Ashish Sharma, Kristen Splinter and Rita Henderson who led successful applications in the very competitive Australian Research Council Discovery Grants program.
In other news we are pleased to announce that GWI has become a corporate member of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and that we will partner with the UNESCO Bangkok Office to co-edit a new text book in the series on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus in South East Asia and the Pacific. The book will be published by UNESCO and Springer Nature in 2020 and is supported by, and draws on expertise of, programs sponsored by UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, UNEP and UNESCAP.
Finally, this month’s newsletter features a summary of the last seminar in the Water Issues Commentary series for 2019 delivered by Dr Claire Dooley from the University of South Hampton and a profile on PhD student Jordan Gacutan who is working on mapping marine debris in Australian waters.
In closing, I would like to wish all members of the UNSW water community, the GWI Steering and International Advisory committees and our newsletter subscribers and supporters a happy new year and thank you for your continued support of GWI.
Professor Greg Leslie 
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
WAMS community garden
Walgett community garden set to thrive
The town of Walgett has been dealing with the effects of reduced flows which feed the town’s drinking water treatment plant. After months of attempts to conserve supplies, the town began to access water from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), and the combination of water restrictions and elevated sodium resulted in loss of the community vegetable garden. Through the Food and Water for Life project, members of the UNSW water community have been privileged to help to reconfigure the garden to become more water efficient and operate effectively on GAB water.
Read more
Manly Dam project
Manly art exhibition now open 
The Manly Dam Project was officially opened at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum on Friday 6 December, marking the beginning of a three-month public exhibition celebrating the rich biodiversity, culture and history of the Manly Dam area, that is also now a hub of national and international water engineering research. The exhibition features the work of eight contemporary Australian artists specialising in a variety of media, who, throughout 2019, have been engaging with the area and water engineers from UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory, located at the University’s  Northern Beaches Campus at the base of Manly Dam.
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Dansie presenting in Bangkok
GWI editor of book on Water-Energy-Food in the Pacific
Through Dr Andrew Dansie, GWI is pleased to announce its role as Editor-in-Chief for the Pacific volume of a book series titled ‘Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus - South East Asia and the Pacific’. The announcement was made following an editorial meeting hosted by UNESCO in Bangkok in January 2019. The book will be published by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Springer Nature in 2020 under the Series ‘Water Security in a New World’.
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Andrew Dansie, Claire Dooley and Greg Leslie
Claire Dooley presents in Water Issues Commentary seminar 
Dr Claire Dooley, Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, presented at GWI's Water Issues Commentary seminar on 11 December. Dr Dooley discussed mapping methodologies for population counts, poverty and health indicators, their potential future applications in evaluating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene across the spatial extent of a population and the implications of using out-of-date or inaccurate population estimates.
More on Dr Dooley
GRIHA summit
GWI partner in GRIHA Summit
For the second year in a row, UNSW Sydney partnered with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi to co-design the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Summit. The theme of the 11th GRIHA summit was 'Approach to integrated sustainability', and a recurrent theme through the summit was stewardship of water resources. GWI was honoured to coordinate and moderate two sessions on the management and use water resources.
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IAHR logo
GWI becomes Institute Member of IAHR
GWI has recently been welcomed as an Institute Member of the International Association for Hydro-environment Engineering and Research (IAHR). As an Institute Member, GWI receives the opportunity to be actively involved in IAHR - a global community of hydraulic engineers and water researchers - and to participate in sections and working groups that place GWI at the centre of research developments in this field.
More on IAHR
    In the Spotlight
Congratulations to our new Professors and ARC Grant recipients
Congratulations to Matthew Kearnes and Daniel Robinson from the UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Jacqui Webster of The George Institute and Tommy Weidman from UNSW Civil Engineering on their promotions to Professor. These promotions recognise sustained excellence in research, impact and engagement. We also congratulate Ashish Sharma, Kristen Splinter and Rita Henderson who led successful applications in the very competitive Australian Research Council Discovery Grants Program.
    In Profile
Jordan Gacutan
Introducing Jordan Gacutan, PhD Student
Marine debris, especially plastic debris, is a significant threat to ocean ecosystems and the coastal communities that they support. Now a permanent part of all ocean ecosystems, marine debris impacts the environment, economies, wildlife and people in many ways. While threats posed by marine debris are understood in principle, Jordan Gacutan, PhD student at UNSW Sydney, says we have a limited understanding of how these threats change spatially and over time. Jordan’s thesis aims to map these threats to inform our decision makers, allowing for optimal management solutions across Australia.
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