Water Research Centre

Capability and expertise in water

The Water Research Centre brings together scientists, engineers and economists to address water management issues of national and international significance.

Through local and global collaborations, our researchers are finding and developing solutions to address issues in environmental water efficiency, catchment water quality, hydrology and climate variability, and the creation and management of more efficient water distribution assets.

The Water Research Centre is a member of the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute.


Research strengths


Industry and engagement

Collaboration is vital for exchanging ideas and advancing science and its application. Further to our research activities, we also collaborate with government and industry.



Water resources are a key strategic asset for most countries in the world. Our research is targeted to underpin more sustainable management of natural resources, and we have a number of relationships with government agencies on collaborative research projects.

Joint appointments with government agencies help to build a ‘hard-wired' link between research and policy adoption. The Water Research Centre currently has joint positions with the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

Our research has helped to underpin:

  • Lakes and reservoir management (internationally) to minimise the risk of algal blooms.
  • Policy related to the management of the Coorong and Lower Lakes, a Ramsar listed wetland in South Australia.
  • A decision support system and policy related to water management in the South East of South Australia, a biodiversity hotspot and site of a number of Ramsar listed wetlands.
  • Policy related to the management of the River Murray.


Aquatic microinvertebrates

Industry collaborations with universities are a major source of new innovations. For an individual business, commercial benefits can be obtained from cooperating with universities on research, but the pathway for cooperation needs to match the needs of the business and the skill-set of researchers.

Researchers with an interest in water at the University of Adelaide have delivered significant benefits to industry and government through their research, including industrial, environmental and agricultural benefits. In particular, our research has saved many millions of dollars in water infrastructure and maintenance costs through optimisation of design.

Research with industry can be tailored to meet your needs. By working through the Water Research Centre, you will be put in contact with researchers who will best meet your research needs, both in terms of expertise and ability to deliver to your timeframe.

You are invited to contact us to discuss your interests and ideas. We can help to match you requirements to researchers within our university, and to other potential partners and co-investors.


Key contacts

Professor Justin Brookes

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

Researcher profile

Professor Seth Westra

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Researcher profile