Building water governance capacity in the EU


It is projected that 55% more water will be extracted across competing uses by 2050. Within this context there is a need to manage different risks and uncertainties, even if the precise management approaches may be contested. Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) Plan is a world-leading example of how to negate ecological and social externalities derived from water insecurity pressures. For Europe specifically, there is a keen interest in this model with much dialogue about what exactly the MDB can offer different jurisdictions. Thus, there has never been a more pressing need, or better time, to explore closer links between the EU and Australia with regard to water scarcity and security issues.

Project objectives

The purpose of this project is to fortify a continuing dialogue around water issues between the EU and Australia. The project builds on existing firm working arrangements with the Universities of Cordoba and Madrid in Spain and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Italy. These institutions make significant contributions to the conversation around EU water reform and management, and represent a solid starting point for expanded dialogue. The ultimate goal is to establish a standing group of experts and interested parties that is well-placed to identify issues, assemble information or advice and comment appropriately (i.e. academic journals, industry briefs, media pieces, policy-notes etc.)

Project achievements

The network has already expanded to include researchers from the UK, Austria and the US. A special session was organised at the XVI World Water Congress of the International Water Resources Association, which was held in Cancun, Mexico May 29 – June 2 2017. In addition, a meeting of the network members will take place in Venice at the Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) to discuss water reallocation issues with contributions by Australian and European presenters (October 12-13, 2017).

Project partners

Collaborating institutions:


The project (2017) is funded by the University of Adelaide’s EU Centre for Global Affairs.


GFAR researchers involved in this project:

Tagged in Projects:Water policy, Active projects