Brisbane, Australia

Associate Professor Cara Beal


International waterCentre


Dr Cara Beal is a senior research fellow at the Cities Research Institute and a senior lecturer in environmental health at the School of Medicine at Griffith University. Cara conducts applied research in water resources management and works extensively with industry to achieve practical research outcomes. She has over 25 years of experience in the private, public and academic sectors. Cara teaches into the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene course for the International WaterCentre’s Masters of Integrated Water Management.

  • PhD in Soil Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science), Griffith University

Cara’s research expertise includes:

  • environmental health and WASH research in remote Indigenous communities
  • community based water management in Pacific Island rural villages
  • digital water network transformation and smart metering technology
  • school’s water efficiency management (smart metering)
  • community-based demand management
  • remote and regional water-energy efficiency.

Cara has won over $3M in research funds, including ARC Linkage grants and a Queensland Government mid-career fellowship. Cara has a Scopus Index of 16, H-index 21, and over 1600 Scholar citations. She is a regular national and international invited speaker and has received peer and industry recognition for her innovative work using socio-technical approaches in the digital water space, including Women in Technology and Australian Water Association awards. She was a former Queensland Government Water Expert Panel member and is a recipient of the 2018 PVC Excellence in Research Group award for the Digital Water Transformation Group.

Journal articles

  • Aldirawi, S,. Souter, R,. Beal C. (in prep) Barriers and opportunities for behavior change in managing high water demand in water scarce Indigenous communities: a Australian perspective. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Research. Submission date July 2019.
  • Jackson, M., Stewart, R.A., Beal, C.D. (submitted) Barriers and enablers to community-based sustainable water management: a study of practice in remote Indigenous Australia, Environmental Science and Policy, submitted April 2019.
  • Vieira, A.S., Stewart, R.A., Lamberts, R., Beal, C.D., (submitted) Development and Demonstration of a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Investment Decision Analysis (REEEIDA) framework. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review, Submitted February 2019.
  • Jackson, M., Stewart, R.A., Fielding, K.S., Cochrane, J., Beal, C.D. (2019) Collaborating for Sustainable Water and Energy Management: Assessment and Categorisation of Indigenous Involvement in Remote Australian Communities, Sustainability, 11 427-457.
  • Stewart, R.A., Nguyen, K., Beal, C., Zhang, H., Sahin, O., Bertone, E., Vieira, A.S., Castelletti, A., Cominola, A., Giuliani, M., (2018). Integrated intelligent water-energy metering systems and informatics: Visioning a digital multi-utility service provider. Environ. Model. Software 105, 94-117.
  • Sahin, O., Bertone, E., Beal, C.D., Stewart, R.A. (2018). Evaluating a novel tiered scarcity adjusted water budget and pricing structure using a holistic systems modelling approach. J. Environ. Manage. 215, 79-90.
  • Beal, C.D., Jackson, M., Stewart, R.A., Miller, A., Rayment, C. (2018) Identifying and understanding the drivers of high water consumption in remote Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, Journal of Cleaner Production 172, 2425-2434.
  • Vieira, A.S., Stewart, R.A., Lamberts, R., Beal, C.D., (2018). Residential solar water heaters in Brisbane, Australia: Key performance parameters and indicators. Renewable Energy 116, 120-132.
  • Sahin, O., Bertone, E., Beal, CD. (2017) A systems approach for assessing water conservation potential through demand-based water tariffs. Journal of Cleaner Production, 148: 773-784.
  • Beal, C.D., Gurung, R.T., Stewart, R.A. (2016) Modelling the impacts of water efficient technologies on energy intensive water systems in remote and isolated communities. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 18(6), 1713-1723.
  • Gurung, R.T, Stewart, R.A., Beal, C.D and Sharma, A. (2016) Smart meter enabled informatics for economically efficient diversified water supply infrastructure planning. Journal of Cleaner Production, 135: 1023-1033.
  • Gurung, R.T, Stewart, R.A., Beal, C.D and Sharma, A. (2016) Investigating the financial implications and viability of diversified water supply systems in an urban water supply zone. Submitted to Water Resources Management, 30 (11): 4037 – 4051.
  • Butt, T.E., Javadi, A.A, Beal, C.D., Jenkins, R.E., (2016) Development of a conceptual framework of holistic risk assessment. Science of the Total Environment, 569: 815 – 829.
  • Beal, C.D., Gurung, R.T., Stewart, R.A. (2016) Demand-side management for supply-side efficiency: an exploration of tailored strategies for reducing peak residential water demand. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 6: 1-11.  10.1016/j.spc.2015.11.005.
  • Vieira, A.S., Humphrys, S., Beal, C.D., Stewart, R.A. (2016) Optimising residential water heating system performance: tailoring systems to minimise water-energy penalties. Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, 4 (2): 161-172.
  • Vieira, A.S., Stewart, R.A., Beal, C.D. (2015) Air source heat pump water heaters in residential buildings in Australia: Identification of key performance parameters Energy and Buildings, 91:148-162. DOI:10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.01.041.
  • Beal, C.D. and Flynn J. (2015) Toward the digital water age: Case studies of Australian water utility smart metering programs. Utilities Policy, 32: 29-37.
  • Makki, A., Stewart, RA., Beal, C. D., Panuwatwanich, K., (2015) Novel bottom-up urban water demand forecasting model: revealing the determinants, drivers and predictors of residential indoor end-use consumption. Resources, Conservation and Recycling , 95: 15-37.
  • Gurung, R.T, Stewart, R.A., Sharma, A. and Beal, C.D (2015) Smart meter enabled water end-use demand data: platform for the enhanced infrastructure planning of contemporary urban water supply networks. Journal of Cleaner Production, 87:642-654.
  • Vieira, A.S., Beal, C.D., Stewart, R.A. (2014) Residential water heaters in Brisbane, Australia: Thinking beyond technology selection to enhance energy efficiency and level of service Energy and Buildings, 82:222-236.
  • Beal, CD., and Stewart, RA. (2014) Identifying Residential Water End-Uses Underpinning Peak Day and Peak Hour Demand. J. Water Resources Planning and Management, 140(7): 04014008.
  • Beal, C.D, Stewart, R.A. and Larsen, S. (2014) Exploring the residential water-energy nexus in remote regions: results from a Far North Queensland water end-use pilot study. Journal of the Australian Water Association, 41(3): 78-82.
  • Gurung, R.T, Stewart, R.A., Sharma, A. and Beal, C.D (2014) Smart meters for enhanced water supply network modelling and infrastructure planning. Resource Conservation and Recycling, 90:34-50.
  • Beal, CD, Makki, A and Stewart, RA. (2014) What does rebounding water use look like? An examination of post-drought and post-flood water end-use demand in Queensland, Australia. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 14 (4) 561-568. doi:10.2166/ws.2014.008.
  • Vieira, A.S., Beal, C.D., Ghisi, E., Stewart, R.A. (2014) Energy intensity of rainwater harvesting systems: a review. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 34:225-242.
  • Beal. C.D, Stewart, RA., Fielding, K. (2013) A novel mixed method smart metering approach to reconciling differences between perceived and actual residential end use water consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60 (1): 116-128.
  • Makki, A., Stewart, RA., Panuwatwanich, K., Beal, C. (2013) Revealing the determinants of shower water end use consumption: enabling better targeted urban water conservation strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60 (1): 129-146.
  • Stewart, RA., Giurco, D., Beal, C.D. (2013) Age of intelligent metering and big data: Hydroinformatics challenges and opportunities. Journal of the International Association for Hydro-environment Engineering and Research, 2, 107-110. (2013).
  • Beal CD, Stewart, RA, Gardner, J, Fielding, K., Spinks, A., McCrae. R. (2013) Mind or machine? Examining the drivers of residential water end-use efficiency. Journal of the Australian Water Association, April 2013.
  • Bennett, C., Stewart, R. A., and Beal, C. D. (2012). “ANN-based residential water end-use demand forecasting model.” Expert Systems with Applications, 40(4): 1014-1023.
  • Beal, C.D., Stewart, R.A., Bertone, E (2012) Evaluating the energy and carbon reductions resulting from resource-efficient household stock. Energy and Buildings, 55: 422-432.
  • Beal CD, Gardner, T., Sharma, A., Chong, M. (2012) A desktop analysis of potable water savings from internally plumbed rainwater tanks in south-east Queensland, Australia. Water Resources Management, 26 (6), 1577-1590, doi.org/10.1007/s11269-011-9973-0..
  • Carragher, BJ., Stewart, RA., Beal, CD.,(2012) Quantifying the influence of residential water appliance efficiency on average day diurnal demand patterns at an end use level: A precursor to optimised water service infrastructure planning. Resour Conserv Recy (2012), 62, 81-90.
  • Beal CD, Stewart, RA, Spinks, A., Fielding, K., (2011) Using smart meters to identify social and technological impacts on residential water consumption.  Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 11(5): 527-533.
  • Talebpour, MR., Stewart, RA., Beal, C., Dowling, B., Sharma, A., Fane, S. (2011) Rainwater tank end usage and energy demand: a pilot study. Journal of the Australian Water Association, 38 (1), 85-89.
  • Beal. C, Stewart, RA., Huang, TT., Rey, E. (2011) South East Queensland Residential End Use study. Journal of the Australian Water Association, 38 (1), 80-84.
  • B Hood, E Gardner, R Barton, R Gardiner, C Beal, R Hyde, C Walton (2010) Decentralised development: the Ecovillage at Currumbin. Journal of the Australian Water Association, 37(6), 37-43.
  • Hood B, Gardner T, Beal C (2009) Domestic urine separation captures plant macronutrients. Journal of the Australian Water Association 36 (1), 28-31.
  • Beal, CD., Rassam, DW., Gardner, EA., Kirchhof, G., and Menzies, NW. (2008). Influence of hydraulic loading and effluent flux on surface surcharging in soil absorption systems. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 13, 681-692.
  • Beal CD, Gardner T, Ahmed W, Walton C, Hamlyn-Harris D (2008) Urine-separation and reuse trial. Journal of the Australian Water Association 35 (1), 46-49.
  • Beal, CD., Gardner, T., Kirchhof, G., and Menzies, NW. (2006). Long term flow rates and biomat zone hydrology in soil columns receiving septic tank effluent. Water Research, 40, 2327-2338.
  • Beal CD, Gardner T, Rassam, D, Vieritz AM, Menzies NW (2006) Effluent flux prediction in variably saturated soil zones within a septic tank – soil absorption trench. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 44, 677-686.
  • Gardner T., Vieritz A., Beal C (2006) Are on-site systems environmentally sustainable? Journal of the Australian Water Association 33 (1), 28-33.
  • A Vieritz, P Beavers, E Gardner, C Beal, J Doherty, J Baisden, T Turner (2006) Risk assessments for impacts from non-sewered subdivisions Journal of the Australian Water Association, 33(1), 28-30.
  • Beal CD, Gardner EA, Menzies NW (2005) Process, performance and pollution potential: A review of septic tank – soil absorption systems. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 43, 781- 802.
  • Beal CD, Gardner EA, Christiansen C, Beavers P (2005) A review of on-site wastewater management practices in south-east Queensland. Journal of the Australian Water Association, 32 (4), 69-72.
  • Beal CD, Gardner EA, Menzies NW (2005) Septic absorption trenches: are they sustainable? Journal of the Australian Water Association, 32 (1), 22-26.

Referred book chapters

  • Wakeford J., House C., Butt T.E., Paul P., Beal C.D. (2018) Flood Vulnerability and the Three Dimensions of Sustainability Philosophy: An Innovative Concept Design for Rapid Assessment. In: Leal Filho W. (eds) Handbook of Sustainability Science and Research, 773-782. World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham ISBN: 978-3-319-63006-9.
  • Beal, C.D., Chong, M., Fyfe, J., Turner, A., Gardner, T. (2015) Mains water savings from harvesting stormwater in detached homes. In: Rainwater Tank Systems for Urban Water Supply Design, Yield, Energy, Health Risks, Economics and Social Perceptions. Editor(s): Ashok K Sharma, Donald Begbie and Ted Gardner. IWA Publishing, UK, Publication Date: 15 Nov 2014, ISBN: 9781780405353, 300 pp.
  • Beal, C.D., Stewart, RA., Giurco, D., Panuwatwanich, K., (2014). Intelligent Metering for Urban Water Planning and Management. In K. Adeyeye (Ed.), Water Efficiency in Buildings: Theory and Practice (pp. 129-145): John Wiley & Sons Ltd, UK.

Cara supervises PhD, Masters and Honours students.

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