The South Australian Department for Environment and Water and the Goyder Institute have partnered to appoint Hon Karlene Maywald as the South Australian Water Ambassador for 2022-2023. This will be an important role for the South Australian water sector, focussed on enhancing collaboration between water businesses, governments, the state’s three universities and CSIRO to grow the water sector as a new source of jobs, exports and investment.
Hon Karlene Maywald has been identified as the ideal candidate for role given her extensive background and broad experience across the water sector, including leading roles in government, water utilities and research & education. Karlene is well known for her significant contribution to progressing national reforms to the management of the Murray-Darling Basin and setting the direction for long term water security in South Australia. She has held Ministerial roles across a diverse range of portfolios that are relevant to the Water Ambassador role – including River Murray, Water Security, Regional Development, Science and Information Economy, Industry and Trade.
Karlene, also a former Goyder Institute Board member, said: “it’s a great privilege to be working with the South Australian Government and Goyder Institute in this important role for the state”. She added that “water is essential for all aspects of our economy, community and environment. The emerging water challenges and opportunities related to water require an ongoing approach to engagement across governments, industries, the research sector and communities and so it’s wonderful to be able to continue to contribute to this”.
Karlene has hit the ground running in her role as Water Ambassador with a recent visit to India, leading to an agreed partnership between the South Australian and Rajasthan governments focussed on the exchange of water technologies and international students (Rajasthan to get Australian assistance for water sector – The Hindu). International partnerships will be an important focus of the role, in particular projects in groundwater, water treatment, R&D and ecological restoration in India, Israel, Malaysia and China. More broadly, the role will aim to:
- Improve connections between government, the water sector and water dependent industries to enable the flow of new technologies and services to improve water use productivity across the economy.
- Coordinate government engagement with community, industry and not-for-profit organisations to underpin future water reform.
- Facilitate industry advice to government on water related constraints to growth.
- Support South Australia as a leading international jurisdiction for water resource management, research, innovation, education and industry growth.
Through these functions the Water Ambassador role will make an important contribution towards the finalisation of a Water for Growth Plan for South Australia. For more information about the Water Ambassador role, please contact Goyder Institute Director, Dr Kane Aldridge.