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IWC Masters students conduct research for the improvement of South East Queensland's waterways

IWC students Maegan Walker from Australia, Annie Chan from Macau and Huong Nguyen from Vietnam (currently living in Australia) are undertaking their final Masters research projects with Healthy Waterways, an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to protect and improve the waterways of South East Queensland.
IWC Masters students conduct research for the improvement of South East Queensland's waterways

L-R: IWC Masters students Annie Chan, Maegan Walker and Huong Nguyen

During their final semester/s, IWC Masters students design and undertake self-directed project work aimed at consolidating and applying the concepts, principles and methodologies they have learned throughout the program. Students select an area of specialisation that is of personal and professional interest to them and is of value for their professional development.

Since 2008, participants in the Master of Integrated Water Management have successfully delivered more than 153 projects in 45 countries in collaboration with over 128 organisations across the globe.

Maegan Walker (Australia) – The social value of waterways in South East Queensland (SEQ)

Healthy Waterways are set to introduce the new 'Healthy Waterway Report Card' that will include social and economic indicators of waterway health. My final project is looking at how Healthy Waterways have determined what the social value of waterways in SEQ are, and if their methods align with the principals of Integrated Water Management.

The research is revealing that some terms used by organisations can be confusing to community members. It can be useful for organisations consulting stakeholders to simplify terms into everyday language and check stakeholders' understanding of them.

HWW logoAnnie Chan (Macau) – Building a business case framework for implementing an aquatic monitoring and evaluation program in the Pearl River Delta region

I come from Macao, which is a city situated in the Pearl River Delta region in China. Over the past three decades, the region has been experiencing dramatic economic growth, which is, unfortunately, accompanied by degradation of the environment. The health of waterways is of no exception.

With a vision to tackle this adverse trend, I started my final project around the broad topic of applying the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Model in my home region.

Through IWC I got connected to Healthy Waterways and was offered an internship opportunity. Thanks to the suggestion from Healthy Waterways and the guidance of my supervisor, the focus of the project was scoped down to building a business case framework for implementing an aquatic monitoring and evaluation program within my home region, based on the Healthy Waterways Model.

The Healthy Waterways Monitoring and Evaluation Program and its associated Annual Report Card are regarded as the hallmarks of the organisation. Both are currently undergoing big changes by covering not only ecological but also social and economic aspects. This step forward will definitely mark a milestone in the evolution of the Model.

I feel grateful of the internship opportunity at Healthy Waterways, allowing me to be exposed to some first hand and real life experience of this evolution. The knowledge attained is undoubtedly a unique and valuable input for my final project.

Huong Nguyen (Vietnam - living in Australia) – Using Living Waterways to maximise benefits from Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)

My project title is "Using Living Waterways to maximise benefits from Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD): A pilot study with Brisbane City Council examining the incorporation of Living Waterways into a water smart study".

Healthy Waterways has introduced the new concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design called “Living Waterways”, that aims to support WSUD implementation by first articulating and then providing a rating system that assesses the planning for smart urban water infrastructure, achieving the multiple benefits from WSUD and delivering best practice environmental management.

Brisbane City Council (BCC) is planning to conduct the Water Smart Study to address storm water management issues, and has encouraged conducting this pilot study into incorporating the rating system of Living Waterways that undertake an analysis and assessment of the three preliminary concept designs in order to recommend the preferred option for Water Smart Study.

The outcomes of this pilot project are expected to benefit:

  1. Brisbane City Council: By using the Living Waterways framework, BCC will better be able to achieve sustainable urban water management practices. In particular, it provides assistance to deliver affordable and enduring open space that will engage the surrounding communities, and it can be an example to other councils to follow.
  2. Healthy Waterways: By identifying the factors that influence the adoption of the Living Waterways scoring system, to support the development of a strategy that promotes the use of Living Waterways.
  3. Academic contribution:  A unique contribution to the literature by identifying the potential barriers and opportunities for incorporating the use of Living Waterways to achieve multiples benefits of Water Sensitive Urban Design in Brisbane City Council.

I am excited to commence this research so I can apply the knowledge and skills I have learnt though the Masters program. This internship will also let me gain Australian experience that will be of great benefit to my career prospects in Australia.


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