The ONE Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) was identified as one of five successfully shortlisted bids after 14 proposals from across Australia and all scientific disciplines were considered during Stage 1 of the bid process. This is a great step forward and a recognition of all the work, commitment and collaboration from the CRC partners. The ONE Basin CRC Stage 2 proposal was submitted mid-January, with the CRC Advisory Committee interview scheduled this month and outcomes of the process known in March this year. If approved, the ONE Basin CRC is expected to deliver 3000 new jobs and almost $6 billion in risk-adjusted economic benefits, as well as significant positive environmental and social outcomes.
The ONE Basin CRC is a focused collaboration developing policy, technical and financial solutions to support and reduce exposure to climate, water and environmental threats in the Murray–Darling Basin. The proposed ONE Basin CRC has six core objectives:
- Deliver capacity for communities, government and industries to respond to emerging climate, water and related changes in business and planning decisions.
- Develop engineering and digital water infrastructure solutions that contribute to a resilient Basin.
- Enable adaptation by farm enterprises and rural communities to global trends and drivers.
- Build collaborations to tackle the emerging basin management opportunities and risks.
- Train the future leaders across basin businesses, communities and governments.
- Establish a strong regionally based innovation system supporting an entrepreneurial outlook by regional communities and businesses.
Regional partners have flagged numerous projects they would like to see the ONE Basin CRC tackle. They include:
- Fish exclusion screens for water pumps
- Crop varieties that are less susceptible to climate change
- Trials of new technology to control irrigation using artificial intelligence and machine learning through networks of internet-enabled devices
- Establishment of food processing precincts
- Monitoring, evaluation and rehabilitation of riverine and wetland sites
- Development of automated systems to identify weed hotspots in channels and rivers
- Computer modelling of irrigation distribution networks to test the likely impacts of potential changes
- Use of satellite imagery of crops at different growth stages to improve forecasting of water needs
- Exploring possibilities for aquifer recharge
- Help for farmers to adjust to changes in the water market and explore opportunities for diversification and technology to improve returns and competitiveness.
There has been strong support for the ONE Basin CRC from the regions and regional research hubs have been proposed across the Basin at Loxton (SA), Dookie and Mildura (Victoria), Griffith (NSW) and Goondiwindi (Queensland). The Loxton Hub is proposed to be based at the Loxton Research Centre.
ONE Basin CRC Interim Chief Executive Officer Professor Mike Stewardson says collaboration is critical for realising the innovative infrastructure, policy and services needed to address the Basin’s major water challenges. The bid now includes over 80 partners across the Basin. Importantly, the partnership includes a mix of leading industry, government and research organsiations that will be necessary to achieve the objectives of the CRC by developing and applying innovative knowledge, policy and on-ground solutions. There has never been such a partnership assembled to address the future of the Basin.
The Goyder Institute for Water Research is among eight Tier 1 partners, with The University of Melbourne, University of Southern Queensland, Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, NSW Planning Industry and Environment Department, the Murray Darling Basin Authority and Hort Innovation. The Institute’s partners, the South Australian Department for Environment and Water, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the South Australian Research and Development Institute also partnering in the CRC, along with the SA Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA). Other South Australian based industry partners include:
- Wine Australia
- Airborne Logic
- Australian Wine Research Institute
- Barossa Infrastructure
- Consilium Technology
- Landscape SA – Murraylands and Riverland
- Mallee Sustainable Farming
- Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation
- Regional Development Australia – Murraylands and Riverland
- Riverland Wine
- SA Water
- YES Energy.
The Institute would like to thank the partners and team who’ve helped to get the bid to this stage and we’re looking forward to continuing to engage with our partners to progress the bid forward and manage climate and water risks in the Murray–Darling Basin.
You can read the latest ONE Basin newsletter here, contact Goyder Institute Director Dr Kane Aldridge to discuss the ONE Basin CRC research program and partnership opportunities, or visit onebasin.com.au for more information.