UNSW GWI
 
 
Welcome to our 9th newsletter for 2020. We begin this month by recognising the wonderful achievements of our colleagues in the water community at UNSW. The Australian newspaper published the annual list of the top researchers in 255 individual fields of research, which included Ian Turner of UNSW's Water Research Laboratory for his work on Ocean and Marine Engineering and COVID-19 and Marylouise McLaws of the School of Public Health for her work on Epidemiology. Other researchers recognised by The Australian that collaborate on water related activities include sustainable energy expert Rob Taylor, who works on solar thermal desalination in inland areas, and bushfire expert Jason Sharples, who contributes to the work of climate scientists and hydrologists on long term surface water supply projections. Lucy Marshall was recognised for her work on hydrology by the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, while Stuart Khan was appointed to the National Water Grid Advisory body, where he will help to inform the Government’s policy and investment decisions on the delivery of the new National Water Grid. Congratulations to all.

In September the Australian Academy of Science’s Future Earth program held the first workshops to develop a National Ten Year Strategy for Sustainable Ocean and Coasts. The strategy will align with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). Emma Johnston, Will Glamore and Mitchell Harley serve on Future Earth’s working group that will develop the strategy, while members of UNSW’s water community working under the 'Healthy Oceans-Resilient Coastlines' theme, including Emeritus Professor Ron Cox, participated in the workshops. Last month Susanne Schmeidl worked with the Water Policy Group to put the final touches on the first annual water policy survey, to feed into the inaugural Water Policy Report. Susanne’s work under the 'Water Governance and Security' theme is an important contribution to this inaugural report, which will identify the key issues and constraints facing governments in the development and implementation of water and sanitation policies, and contribute to policy development. Also, under our 'Safe Water and Access for All' theme, we feature the important work of Nicole Carnt, from the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW Sydney, who has developed guidelines adopted by five countries to help reduce the risk of exposure by wearers of contact lenses to water borne amoeba.

In our regular profile of UNSW PhD students we feature the work of Binod Rayamajhee who is working with Nicole Carnt on the study of Acanthamoeba keratitis. In upcoming events are pleased to report that the registration page for the Nancy Hillier Lecture is live; the Lithium Supply Chain symposium will be a fully virtual event and available free of charge to all participants; and finally, to mark AWA’s National Water Week which begins on 19 October, GWI will host an online forum discussing the important connections between land and water in the management of the health of the harbour and beaches of Sydney. Event registration details will follow soon.

As always, thanks for your support and interest in the work of the UNSW water community.

 
Prof Greg Leslie
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
 
 
Safe Water and Access for All
 
 
 
Why water and contact lenses don't mix
 
Nicole Carnt, Scientia Senior Lecturer, School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW Sydney, is helping to save people's sight by educating contact lens wearers on the risks of mixing their lenses with water. If contact lenses are rinsed under the tap before being worn or exposed to other everyday sources of water, there is a very real risk of the lens and eye becoming infected with a microorganism found in tapwater that could lead to loss of sight. Nicole influenced the successful endorsement of a consumer concept of “no water” labels on contact lens packaging, now available in 5 countries. 
 
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Water Governance and Security
 
 
 
Details released on 2020 Water Policy Report
 
In July 2020, Water Policy Group announced its intention to support the newly launched Global Acceleration Framework for SDG 6 by issuing a regular Water Policy Report. The report will identify the key issues and constraints facing governments in the development and implementation of water and sanitation policies, and contribute to policy development by providing insight, timely intelligence and peer support offered by shared experiences from across the world. The key input to the report is a survey on the perspectives and opinions of persons who are decision makers on, or key influencers of, water policy at the national level. The survey will be supported by an inter-disciplinary team of experts from UNSW-GWI and the research has been approved by UNSW’s Human Research Ethics Committee.
 
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Healthy Oceans and Resilient Coastlines
 
 
 
A new strategy for Australia's oceans and coasts
 
Future Earth Australia has assembled an Expert Working Group of leading ocean and coastal researchers and practitioners to steer the strategic direction of a National Ten Year Strategy for Sustainable Ocean and Coasts. The Working Group, which includes UNSW’s Emma Johnston, Will Glamore and Mitchell Harley, will help develop a strategy that outlines clear, actionable approaches to achieve healthy and resilient oceans and coasts for all of Australia. The strategy will align with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), an opportune time to deliver more systemic and integrated approaches.
 
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In the spotlight
 
 
 
GWI experts named Australia's Research Field Leaders
 
Four UNSW researchers with diverse fields of expertise have been named among Australia's Research Field Leaders. A special Research supplement published by The Australian in September names Australia’s top researchers in 255 individual fields of research, based on where individual researchers publish and how many citations they have. Professor Ian Turner of UNSW's Water Research Laboratory was named the Australian Leader in the field of Ocean & Marine Engineering, and UNSW was named the Lead Institution in the same field. COVID-19 expert Professor Marylouise McLaws was named Australian Leader in Epidemiology, Professor Rob Taylor was named Australian Leader in Sustainable Energy while bushfire expert Jason Sharples was named Australian Leader in Forests & Forestry.
 
 
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Lucy Marshall receives medal for environmental modelling
 
Congratulations to Associate Dean (Equity and Diversity) Lucy Marshall who has been awarded a medal and named as a fellow of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. The award is given for “Exceptional research contributions to environmental modelling and software, and for promoting the aims of the Society.
 
 
Stuart Khan appointed to National Water Grid Advisory
 
Stuart Khan was recently appointed to the National Water Grid Advisory body, where he will help to inform the Government’s policy and investment decisions on the delivery of the new National Water Grid. The eight-member group will offer a wealth of diverse expertise in fields including engineering, agriculture, economics, environmental and water sciences, infrastructure investment and stakeholder engagement.
 
 
In Profile
 
 
 
Introducing Binod Rayamajhee, PhD Student
 
Water—even the ‘clean’ kind that is suitable for drinking—can contain bugs that can make their way into our bodies through unexpected means, with potentially devastating consequences.In the case of ocular health, water has been linked to the very damaging corneal infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis. The vision-threatening ocular disease occurs predominantly in contact lens wearers due to lenses mixing with water and cases are increasing in many countries. The recent spikes in cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis caught the attention of Binod Rayamajhee who is undertaking his PhD with the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science. He is using cutting-edge molecular techniques to investigate keratitis causing Acanthamoeba.
 
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Upcoming events
 
 
 
Registration open for Nancy Hillier lecture on Botany Bay
 
This year’s Hillier lecture will provide an opportunity to reflect on the past, present, and future of work on environmental and social justice issues in and around Botany Bay from the perspectives of researchers with the University of New South Wales. The lecture will take place at 7.00pm ADT on Thursday 22 October via Zoom and registration is free.
 
 
Register
 
2020 Lithium Symposium now free of charge
 
Registration for the 2020 Symposium on Lithium Supply Chain for a Green and Mobile Energy Future is now free of charge. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the symposium will now be entirely livestreamed via Zoom, The event will be live streamed using Zoom, and live stream links will be issued by email to the ticket holder after registration has closed. Abstract submissions also close today.
 
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Want more?
Read past issues of the UNSW Global Water Institute Newsletter in our website archive.
 
 
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