Adelaide home to Centre of Excellence in Water

Sunday, 16 May 2004

The University of Adelaide is to benefit from a $9 million Federal Government award for the establishment of an International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management.

The Centre will be based in Adelaide and is made up of a consortium that includes the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia, Deakin University, University of Newcastle, Central Queensland University and TAFE SA.

In announcing this at the National Wine Centre, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Alexander Downer said that Professor Graeme Dandy, currently Head of the University of Adelaide's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering would be the interim director.

The Federal Government is contributing $6.7 million over three years towards the centre, the State Government $630,000 over three years and five partner universities $1.75 million over five years.

The centre has a strong focus on education and training, and will promote itself to international water resource management students to further their education in Australia. It will also develop online courses for delivery in Australia and overseas.

Professor James McWha, University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor, said he is delighted in the pivotal role played by the South Australian universities.

"All the universities associated with this bid have a strong focus on water resource management issues and many members of staff who specialise in this field," Professor McWha said. "I congratulate Professor Dandy and the staff of the partner organisations who worked tirelessly to ensure the bid came to fruition."

Professor Dandy said he believes that this International Centre for Excellence will be a showcase of Australia's world-class education, training and research facilities in water resource management.

"The partnership consists of 16 education, government and industry organisations working together to give the best possible learning opportunities to people around the world.

"Water resources management affects billions of people and is a critical issue for many countries around the world. The establishment of this centre will see Adelaide and Australia become a hub for the best minds in the field," Professor Dandy said.

The partnership will develop new courses and will market and offer a suite of existing programs in water resource management ranging from para-professional TAFE courses to Bachelor degrees, coursework Master degrees and PhDs at participating universities across Australia.

"Many of these courses are already being offered by the various partners, but with the International Centre of Excellence bringing the partners formally together, it makes it a lot easier to market these courses overseas which in turn makes it much more attractive for international students to come to Australia," Professor Dandy said.

"Our international focus goes beyond attracting students to Australia. A large component of what we will be doing includes the provision of online programs so students can further their education in their home countries.

"In addition, there are about 20 institutions across the world that have already indicated to us that they are prepared to collaborate with us and assist in staff and student exchange programs."

International Centre of Excellence in Water Resource Management

Key Facts

The partnership selected as the winning bidder for the centre is known as Water Australia Training, Education and Research.

The consortium consists of 16 partners:

The University of Adelaide (South Australia)Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment
Deakin University (Victoria)CSIRO, Land and Water Division
Flinders University (SA)SARDI (SA)
University of South Australia (SA)Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (SA)
University of Central Queensland (Queensland)Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (SA)
University of Newcastle (NSW)United Water International (SA) and international parents Thames Water Ltd and Veolia Ltd
TAFE SASA Water Corporation, including the Australian Water Quality Centre
Centre for Groundwater Studies (WA/SA/Vic)AITEC Corporate Education and Consulting

Key financial contributors to the Centre are the Federal Government ($6.7 million over three years), the South Australian Government ($630,000 over three years) and five of the university partners ($1.75 million over five years).

Its main areas of expertise will be: sustainable surface water and groundwater water management (including reuse); integrated catchment management; ecosystem management, water resources policy; water and wastewater treatment technology; asset management; and health risk assessment.


Contact Details

Professor Graeme Dandy
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5472
Mobile: 0413 189 979

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814