After 15 years advancing excellence in water leadership around the world, the International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM) ceased operations this month.
ICE WaRM has been a valuable partner of the Goyder Institute for Water Research during its second-term, supporting the uptake research outputs, providing the Institute with administrative support and being co-located. We would like to take this opportunity to thank ICE WaRM for their contribution, not just to our work but to the broader water resources sector in Australia and to the next generation of water professionals across more than 130 countries they supported through the Australian Water School.
Their closing highlights the trend towards decreased investment in the water resources sector, despite the importance of water to our society and the clear impacts of prolonged drought and bushfires in many communities in recent times. In a recent opinion piece, ICE WaRM Managing Director Darryl Day said:
“Australia has been amongst the global leaders in water research, out of necessity, in adapting to changing climate, extreme events and water security. In the decade proceeding and throughout the millennium drought, Australia invested wisely in science, innovation and, to a limited extent, adaptation of traditional knowledge. However, the last decade has seen an ever-diminishing investment in research and development (R&D) to the level that we are not able to adequately respond to our current crisis, nor are we prepared for future climate driven challenges.”
Despite these challenges, the Goyder Institute for Water Research is continuing to provide the knowledge to support innovative water management through its current research and development program (Climate Action, Healthy Ecosystems, Economic Development) and by scoping new programs, such as the One Basin Cooperative Research Centre and research to support the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program.
The Productivity Commission identified collaborative research partnerships such as Cooperative Research Centres and the Goyder Institute as central to advancing knowledge, building capacity and developing technologies for Australia to deliver the sustainable management of water resources in the face of challenges from climate change, population growth and increasing community expectations. The importance of this is recognised by the Institute Partners (the South Australian Government through the Department for Environment and Water, CSIRO, Flinders University, The University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia) who are finalising an agreement for the Institute’s third term.
We thank our colleagues at ICE WaRM and the Australian Water School for their professionalism and dedication to the water resources sector and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.