Partnering with water policy experts, reducing water odours and talking blockchain for water markets.
 Welcome to the 4th edition of the GWI newsletter for 2020. In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our professional and private lives; with the exception of our access to water and sanitation services. Our ability to wash our hands, practice good hygiene and social distancing has allowed us to flatten the curve and keep the growth factor for SAR-CoV 2 below 1. The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of clean water and sanitation and why it is essential that we make progress on the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure vulnerable communities have access to these service to prevent hundreds of deaths each day from disease. This point was made in a recent statement by the Water Policy Group – a recent initiative of a group of senior experienced water professionals that work at senior levels of government and non-government organisations across the world. Last month, UNSW was pleased to sign an MOU with the Water Policy Group to collaborate and support their work providing evidence based advice on a range of water policy issues. This is a very important collaboration for GWI and we look forward to working with the Water Policy Group.
This month we are pleased to announce the launch of our Global Water Matters podcast. This new service was born from the necessity to continue the water issues commentary series under the constraints of social distancing. Our first recording features the talented Katrina Donaghy of Civic Ledger. Katrina is continuing Australia’s leadership in water market reforms by exploring how blockchain systems can be applied to water markets to improve efficiency and improve trust in the process through greater transparency. Katrina’s conversation with Cameron Holley from the Law School is a timely contribution to the current debate on water markets in Australia. Our next Global Water Matters podcast will be with Anne Castle of the Water Policy group who speaks on water governance, with an emphasis on the Colorado River. Special thanks to the fabulous Gretchen Miller from UNSW’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science for hosting and curating the podcast.
In other news we are delighted to feature the work of Dr Ruth Fisher and her colleagues at the UNSW Odour Laboratory, one of the most advanced facilities for emissions analysis in Australia. We also profile the wonderful achievements of UNSW civil engineering graduate and current PhD students Ahmed Nashwan (‘Nash’) Abdul Matheen who is working in the coastal engineering group at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory. Finally we would like to draw your attention to events and updates from our partners: in an upcoming webinar, the Australian Water Association will announce which amazing high school student will be the Australian nominee for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize; and the International Water Resource Association, of which GWI chairs the Oceania Chapter, is currently inviting new members to join their global community.
I hope that you enjoy this newsletter and thanks again for your continued interest and support.
Prof Greg Leslie
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
Latest News
GWI forms new partnership with global water policy experts
GWI is connecting its expert researchers with leading water policy practitioners through the signing of a new MoU with the Water Policy Group. The partners are joining forces to better connect cutting-edge water research to innovative water policy.
Minimising environmental odours with UNSW Odour Laboratory
The UNSW Odour Laboratory is the most advanced lab in Australia for emissions analysis. 
The lab explores why something smells the way it does, why some odours linger more than others and how odours can be minimised - and Dr Ruth Fisher is focusing her research on wastewater.
Global Water Matters Podcast Episode 1: Water Markets and Blockchain - Trading through New Digital Technologies
The first episode of the GWI Global Water Matters podcast features Katrina Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Civic Ledger – a civic focused blockchain Australian company – and Cameron Holley, Professor at UNSW Law. Together, Katrina and Cameron discuss the potential benefits of using blockchain technology in Australian water markets, the challenges that may occur and how the technology is being used in a pilot at the Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme in Far North Queensland.
In Profile
Introducing Ahmed Nashwan Abdul Matheen, PhD Student
Ahmed Nashwan (‘Nash’) Abdul Matheen was lucky enough to grow up in the beautiful Maldives—an archipelago of over 1000 islands situated in the Arabian Sea. In his past job as a Surveying Assistant for consulting firm CDE Pvt Ltd, Nash visited many of the inhabited islands to carry out surveys for development projects. The prevalence of erosion on the islands’ coastlines caught his attention and after observing a lack of comprehensive scientific knowledge on the subject, he set out to better understand his country’s coastlines in order to help protect them.
Coming Up
Global Water Matters Episode 2: Lessons from the Colorado River
Anne Castle is a Senior Fellow at the University of Colorado and former Assistant Secretary for Water and Science in the U.S. Department of the Interior.  After many years addressing the plight of the Colorado River, Anne discusses her experiences in the next episode of the GWI Global Water Matters Podcast.
Webinar: Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Finalists
The Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize is an annual water science competition for high school students to create solutions to current and future water challenges. The winner of the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize will now be announced live via webinar on Wednesday, 6 May at 12:30pm (AEST). 
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