Research Program 1: Safe and reliable water systems

This program aims to support the ongoing investment by water industry partners to find innovative and integrated water quality and quantity solutions. It aims to assist partners to address future uncertainty and disruption through multi-objective adaptive planning and balancing supply and demand options across natural and built infrastructure.

Potential activities include:

  • Development of remote water supply and treatment through accessing alternative water sources and low-cost treatment solution

  • Development of new technologies to demonstrate the value and opportunities for low-energy water recycling and storage options

  • Develop and testing new sensors to increase environmental monitoring capability and safeguard against pathogens and emerging contaminants

  • Data harmonisation to integrate information from autonomous sensors and conventional monitoring programs to support risk assessment and prediction of water quantity and quality.

Research Program 2: Optimising investment in blue/green infrastructure

This program will support a transformational shift by partners to informing and de-risking blue, green, and grey infrastructure investment decisions across catchments, employing both spatial planning tools and market-based approaches to effect change. A circular economy approach will be designed to support assessments across areas of water, energy and waste, to ensure multiple benefits and efficiencies for water partners and communities.

Potential activities include:

  • Development of innovative spatial planning tools to identify economically and environmentally optimal configurations of blue, green and grey investments across catchments, to achieve multiple objectives including safe supply and reduction of water treatment costs

  • Development of market-based trading approaches and financial tools to support targeted green infrastructure investment

  • Quantifying the human and ecological health outcomes delivered through regenerative integrated water and urban planning and design solutions.

  • Robust and responsible decision making and investment processes for blue, green and grey infrastructure based on equitable allotment of costs of depreciation, failure and replacement.

Research Program 3: Harnessing the value of water and catchment information

This cross-cutting program seeks to unleash the value of water and catchment data to support informed decision-making in real-time.

It aims to develop tools and products that bring together, analyse, and synthesise conventional sources of data with unconventional, unstructured information sources such as social media data and expert opinion,

Potential activities include:

  • Creating digital twins for optimal water management and improvement of water systems

  • Enabling more accurate decision-making through integrating data sets and the creation of real-time information from IOT, high resolution arial data and AI pattern recognition

  • Developing smart algorithms to retrieve and repurpose water data to fit user needs.

Research Program 4: Enabling sector transformation

This enabling research program will support impact pathway realisation across the other three programs, while keeping a strong focus on social and ecological sustainability. It will reinforce the social dimension, empower communities and address barriers to water security system transformation.

Potential activities include:

  • Enabling cut-through pathways to impact for technological and social innovation in the water sector through identifying institutional barriers to implementation

  • Strengthening best practice water governance and regulatory frameworks

  • Implementing and evaluating models of water stewardship

  • Identifying barriers and enablers for participation by different stakeholders and inform the design and trial of new deliberative processes and tools for water co-planning, co-design and co-governance.

  • Developing approaches that acknowledge the importance of water in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and address their water needs

  • Developing approaches to work with industry to build capacity in the sector to embrace new technologies and their implementation.