UNSW GWI
 
 
Welcome to our 7th newsletter for 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted progress on a number of Sustainable Development Goals, so it is timely that the United Nations has launched the Global Acceleration Framework for SDG 6, particularly given the importance that access to safe water and good hygiene plays in preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Our partners at the Water Policy Group are contributing to the UN initiative by identifying the key issues and constraints preventing the implementation of SDG 6 by governments. In support of this effort, Susanne Schmeidl, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, who works under GWI’s Safe Water: Access Equity theme, is assisting the WPG with the design of a survey that will cover current and longitudinal trends in policy development on SDG6. In other water quality projects, Rita Henderson from the Faculty of Engineering and Tess Stafford from the School of Economics are leading a team working on an assessment of the impact of algal blooms on treatment costs in a project sponsored by Water Research Australia.
 
In the past month members of the UNSW water community have made tremendous progress on several important projects and initiatives under the “Healthy Oceans and Resilient Coastlines” theme. Ben Milligan of the faculties of Law and Science hosted a workshop on the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership sponsored by the World bank. Mitch Harley of the Water Research Laboratory ran a series of successful training workshops for 130 participants from 26 countries on the use of the “Coast Snap” citizen science coastal monitoring system. The elegant Coast Snap technology is providing communities with a low cost method to monitor changes in coastlines due to extreme storms and sea-level rise. Jes Sammut was a member of the ANSTO team that will develop procedures to track the provenance of commercial seafood, while Andrew Dansie and Will Glamore presented an update on their work on floating mangrove pontoons to protect ecosystem around salt marshes and mud flats at the G20 Workshop on the Circular Carbon Economy, "Remove – Nature Based Solutions". Separately, Will Glamore was appointed to an expert working group on sustainable oceans and coasts organised under the Australian Academy of Science’s Future Earth program; while, Andrew Dansie completed the planning for a comprehensive book on ‘Securing Water, Energy and Food in the Pacific’. This month’s newsletter also features an update on a critical evaluation of the groundwater modelling for the proposed Shenhua coal mine in NSW by Emeritus Professor Ian Acworth. Professor Acworth’s report raises important issues on the connection between surface activities and groundwater and questions the findings presented in the Environmental Impact Statement. The report received considerable media attention and has made an important contribution to the debate on the development of energy resources on the Liverpool plains.
 
In our regular profile of UNSW PhD students we features the wonderful story of Youngil Kim and Hae Na Yoon; two postgraduates students in the Hydrology group who are working on different, but equally important aspects of climate change on water supplies. Youngil and Hae Na met in Korea as masters students and now as husband and wife have followed their passion for research to UNSW. In upcoming events we report on the virtual activities and digital events that will be hosted by UNSW for 2020 National Science week; the latest on the Lithium Supply Chain symposium; and we congratulate our partners at the University of Technology Sydney, who with Tony Fane and Pierre LeClech from UNSW’s School of Chemical Engineering, successfully tendered to host the International Desalination Association World Congress in Sydney in 2021.
 
Finally, please indulge us a moment of collective pride as we note the results of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, published at the beginning of July, which moved UNSW up two places to number 5 in the global subject ranking for Water Resources. A great accomplishment.
 
As always, thanks for your support and interest in the work of the UNSW water community.
 
 
Prof Greg Leslie
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
 
Latest News
 
 
UNSW ranked 5th in world for water resources
 
UNSW has been ranked #5 in the world and #1 in Australia for water resources in the latest ARWU subject rankings. Water resources received the highest ranking of all UNSW subjects, followed by Civil Engineering - which was ranked #8 in the world. UNSW also featured in the world's top 50 for another 18 subjects. 
 
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Water policy report to be released to accelerate SDG 6
 
UNSW-GWI will assist the Water Policy Group in compiling a regular Water Policy Report to support the newly launched Global Acceleration Framework for SDG 6. The report will be drawn from surveying the views of many people in water policy leadership roles and will provide insight into the key issues and constraints facing governments in SDG 6 implementation.
 
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Ocean accounting: measuring progress towards sustainable development of the ocean
 
UNSW Scientia Fellow Dr Ben Milligan is co-lead with two colleagues, from Yale University and the UK government, on a Blue Paper on Ocean Accounts commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy launched this week. The High Level Panel of 14 heads of government, including Australia’s prime minister, is a unique initiative of world leaders building momentum towards a sustainable ocean economy that incudes effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity.
 
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New seafood provenance research funding
 
The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has awarded $202,500 under its Traceability Grant program to the ANSTO-led Seafood Provenance Project involving the UNSW Aquaculture Research Group, the Sydney Fish Market, Macquarie University and the National Measurement Institute. 
 
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The cost of Algae to the Australian water industry
 
The mitigation, management and treatment of harmful and nuisance algal bloooms is necessary to prevent poor water quality and adverse impacts on human health, but it places a major burden on the balance sheets of Australian water utilities. Researchers from UNSW and industry partners are assessing the economic impact of harmful and nuisance algal blooms to the Australian water industry.
 
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Coastsnap continues global expansion with online training
 
Over two weeks in July, Scientia Senior Lecturer Dr. Mitchell Harley of the UNSW Water Research Laboratory led a series of training workshops on the CoastSnap community beach monitoring that he founded. The workshops were attended by over 130 participants from 26 countries, including researchers and government agencies in India, South Africa, Indonesia, China, South America, USA, Europe and more.
 
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GWI presents at G20 Workshop on the Circular Carbon Economy
 
Dr. Andrew Dansie recently gave a panel presentation at the G20 Workshop on the Circular Carbon Economy, "Remove – Nature Based Solutions." Dr. Dansie spoke of the role of Engineering in the Blue Carbon System approach. He spoke about the testing of Floating Mangrove Pontoons at UNSW's Water Research Laboratory, supervised by himself and A/Professor Will Glamore.
 
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UNSW digital events for National Science Week
 
National Science Week, which runs from 15 – 23 August, is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology with more than 1,000 science events happening digitally in 2020.  Among the many  UNSW-hosted events is a panel discussion with Tim Flannery, 2007 Australian of the Year, UNSW graduate and Chief Councillor of the Australian Climate Council. He will be joined by social researcher Rebecca Huntley and UNSW marine ecologist Adriana Vergés in 'We Still Need to Talk about Climate Change' on 19 August. As Australia grapples with the new normal of bushfires and water shortages, the panel, led by Dean of Science Prof. Emma Johnston, will discuss how we can take the politics out of these important issues.
 
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A/Prof William Glamore appointed to expert panels
 
Asocciate Professor William Glamore was recently appointed by the NSW Minister for the Environment Matt Kean to Chair to the Tuggerah Lakes Expert Panel, and was also recently appointed to an Expert Working Group on Sustainable Oceans and Coasts.
 
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Questions raised on water modeling near Shenhua mine
 
UNSW Emeritus Professor Ian Acworth has released a summary of findings related to the presence of the Old River Mooki channel near Gunnedah, NSW. The data suggests that extensive deep drilling and the establishment of piezometer nests are essential before a final approval to mine is granted.
 
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In Profile
 
 
Introducing Hae Na Yoon and Youngil Kim, PhD Students
 
Youngil Kim and Hae Na Yoon are something of an anomaly at UNSW Sydney. The couple met while completing their Masters at the Climate Change Adaptation in Water Resources Research Centre, Seoul National University, and two years later, they were married and on their way to UNSW Sydney together to embark upon their PhDs. They are each researching different but equally important aspects of climate change.
 
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Coming Up
 
 
Registration open for symposium on lithium supply chain
 
Registration opens on 1 August for the livestream of the 2020 Symposium on Lithium Supply Chain for a Green and Mobile Energy Future. Held on 19-20 November via Zoom, the program will present the latest science and industry updates relating to all stages and external aspects of the lithium supply chain. Abstracts remain open and will close on 1 September.
 
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IDA World Congress 2021 to be held in Sydney
 
The 2021 International Desalination Association World Congress will be held in Sydney on November 7-11, 2021. The congress will focus on 'Charting Resilient Water Solutions'.The centerpiece of the Congress is its robust Technical Program covering all aspects of desalination and water reuse as solutions to ensure the sustainability of the world's water resources.
 
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