- Reseach project
- – Western Pacific
Read the latest updates about the International WaterCentre, as well as contemporary water sector insights, water management news, and conversations with researchers, practitioners and students, from both Australia and abroad.
“You can pull it all apart, but really, at the end of the day, we’re a biological, moving bit of carbon and that’s all we’ve got.” Morgan McPherson has spent his life immersed in nature, advocating for its rights and protection. His links with conservation started early; his mother often brought him to Greenpeace rallies and meetings as a toddler. “I grew up between the hills and the city of Adelaide - very green in winter, and dry in summer. Although, during the millennial drought from 2000 onwards, it became very dry, and people had to be very conscious and aware of water use. At home we were always funnelling off grey water onto the garden, using buckets in the sink and minimising waste where ever we could.” He has since travelled the length and breadth of Australia, in search of a way to express his passion for the environment and conservation, and for a fitting career. He jokingly describes his career moves since graduating high school as ‘left, right and centre’. One of Morgan’s first jobs was as a volunteer in the horticulture department of Adelaide Zoo, where he eventually landed a paid position. He then moved into varied roles, from conservation to horticulture and interpretation to customer engagement, which all influenced his decision to complete a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management. A desire to move away from tourism led him to other environment-focused roles, including a stint as a ranger in the Northern Territory, a life guard on the Great Barrier Reef and as a koala feeder at Seaworld on the Gold Coast. “Going into my diploma was hands down, by accident, the best thing I have ever done. It gave me some skills, put me into the field a lot and gave me some good foundational skills” With years under his belt in the field, Morgan became frustrated with the small ‘band-aid fixes’ often employed by conservationists who were more concerned with deploying what was the most cost-effective solution, rather than what was more effective and considerate of the long term. “Coming from an ecological background, we work on the understanding that no part of an ecosystem acts without any influence on, or from, another part. [I think] it’s that understanding that makes me look at any management issues, especially ones as complex as water management, with a slightly different view than most.” Frustrated with the ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ attitude, Morgan came to the conclusion that his knowledge and experience could be extremely useful as a leader, in both the conservation and water sectors. To help solidify his knowledge, Morgan joined the Master of Integrated Water Management degree at the International WaterCentre. He hopes to use the program to improve on his leadership skills and explore water management approaches to conservation. “I would like to change people’s attitude of the environment, from being a stationary object that gets in the way, to one where we see it as a fantastic tool that can minimise work, reduce costs and thrive under our management.” Morgan McPherson is a current Master of Integrated Water Management student at the International WaterCentre. About the author: Dahna Morrisson writes as a correspondent for the International WaterCentre, charged with exploring water challenges and the ways these challenges are managed around the world.
Great entrepreneurs have the ability to change society, shaping the way we live and work. What can entrepreneurs do for water development that will help to achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 6 and deliver universal access to safe water and sanitation? “In the history of human development, it’s always been innovations that have paved the way to overcome societal challenges,” says Dr Christian Vousvouras, a WASH specialist at Nestle. “If we look at the WASH sector, the challenges are different. There are many technological solutions to provide WASH in a cost-efficient manner. What we need today are innovative and effective delivery models. The most successful WASH entrepreneurs will be the ones that find the right business model or that create the right ecosystem around their solution.” Vousvouras says that entrepreneurs can make use of existing multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Alliance for Water Stewardship,to find a place in an ecosystem with other stakeholders. “The collaboration among different actors will be key. WASH investments have enormous productivity gains from a societal point of view.”
Israel not only has a water surplus, it also exports water and has now become a global leader in many water technologies. This is surprising, given that Israel is 60 per cent desert and experiences rain only in winter. Since its independence in 1948, Israel’s yearly rainfall has fallen by more than 50 per cent while its population has grown tenfold, increasing the pressure on its water resources. Annual rainfall varies across the country and extreme variations in precipitation between years are normal. So, what has made Israel a “water superpower”?
It’s no secret that brewers require a lot of water to craft the beers we love to drink. After all, water is the main ingredient. What might surprise beer enthusiasts is the huge amount of water that’s required to create even a drop of the delicious liquid, as well as the wastewater that is left over from the manufacturing and bottling process. To produce one litre of beer, breweries can require between six to eight litres of water. At less efficient breweries, this ratio can rise even higher.
The International WaterCentre (IWC) will soon welcome more than 30 participants from across the Asia-Pacific region for the Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019, to discuss the role of decision support tools in water policy development, investment planning and the on-ground management of water resources. Learning Weeks are developed around specific themes and designed to stimulate dialogue and knowledge sharing between experts, policy makers, and practitioners, from both Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 is funded by the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) and facilitated by the IWC, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and delivery partners eWater and Alluvium. The Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 is the third time the IWC has led a Learning Week. “The IWC has led the successful delivery of the 2016 and 2017 Learning Weeks,” says Pablo Orams, Senior Project Officer and Learning Week Project Manager at the IWC. “This experience, together with our strong relationships with the ADB, the AWP, various governments, and academic and industry organisations from across the Australian water sector, has allowed us to build a comprehensive training program for the 2019 edition of the Learning Week. We are excited to welcome a diverse group of participants and to share our experiences, as well as learning from theirs” This year’s participants include senior government and water utility representatives from various ADB Developing Member Countries (DMC) from across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as key ADB staff working in water resource-related projects with DMC representatives. Represented countries include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Mongolia and China. Participants will visit Canberra and Melbourne, locations that offer unique opportunities to explore Australian working examples of decision support tools and systems at use in the water sector.