Research focus: Water for Industry

In this research theme, techniques were developed to promote equitable water sharing in multi-use catchments and in remote regions of the State.

The work developed sustainable water management practices for communities and industries that are heavily reliant on safe and secure water supplies such as food, wine, forestry and mining.

Research projects concentrated on a number of issues including:

There are two major areas of investment under this theme:

  1. Water Allocation Planning and Water Quality Improvement
  2. Mining and Outback Water

In partnership with the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, the Goyder Institute also investigated new opportunities to reuse treated wastewater for irrigation to support effective and efficient use of our water resources to underpin a productive agricultural industry.

This research produced a series of reports, publications and research materials:


This project focused on data-poor areas of arid South Australia, and made advances using a range of scientific methods to better understand the water resources of arid inland South Australia. G‐FLOWS‐1 has used multiple data sources to bring together a comprehensive current conceptual model of hydrogeology in the Musgrave Province. This harnessed remotely‐sensed datasets, with on‐ground and borehole measurements, to provide a much greater sense of the subsurface variability in the area. Specifically the G-FLOWS 1 project:

The findings of this project are detailed in Technical Report 13/13


The Goyder Institute G-FLOWS 2 (Finding Long-term Outback Water Solutions) project increased our knowledge about the character and variability of outback groundwater resources, the sustainability of those resources and their relationship to environmental and cultural assets. The outcomes of this project have enabled prudent decision making and policies regarding water allocation, accounting, licensing and sustainable yields whilst ensuring groundwater-dependent ecosystems and environmental assets are protected.

This work also assisted in the development of water supplies for remote Far North communities by identifying alternate groundwater sources to improve water supply security.

To date, our research has developed methodologies to interpret airborne geophysics that can locate new groundwater sources from existing information. These methodologies are now being tested and evaluated in case study locations in the Northern Eyre Peninsula.

Recycled Water and Salinity

This project demonstrated the economic and environmental value of using recycled water to irrigate South Australia’s food and wine crops.

Co-funded by the Goyder Institute for Water Research and the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, the project is a collaboration between SARDI, the University of Adelaide and local viticulture and horticulture businesses.

Trials on almond orchards used mixtures of recycled water and freshwater to identify the most salt sensitive growth stages of almond trees.

Vineyard trials tested whether various rainfall redirection treatments reduced salinity pressure on vines and assessed the benefits of constructing raised mounds in the mid-row.

Based on the success of these trials, the horticulture industry could expand its use of recycled water schemes for precision crop irrigation in other dry regions and improve management of soil salinity.

More information about the project can be found at the SARDI website

The final report from this project is available here.

Adelaide Plains Groundwater Assessment

Adelaide residents have long made use of groundwater, historically by drawing water from backyard bores, however substantial quantities of water lie beneath Adelaide which can be used more effectively by updating our knowledge about this valuable resource.

Funded by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, this two-year project mapped the aquifers beneath Adelaide to provide a comprehensive understanding of the quantity and quality of water within them. It also assessed the likely impacts of a changing climate and increasing population, and informed future water planning.

Local manufacturing industries and many market gardeners in the northern suburbs rely on a steady supply of groundwater from deep aquifers to operate, highlighting how important groundwater is to South Australia’s economy.

The project improved our knowledge of how much water:

Research was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and was supported by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.

Read more about this project here.

Marine Park Regional Impact Assessment Statements

Sanctuary Zones Regional Impact Assessment Statement: Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Wakefield

Sanctuary zones are high conservation areas in marine parks, protecting the feeding, breeding, nursery and resting areas of marine species important to South Australia. From 1 October 2014, fishing was prohibited in sanctuary zones, ensuring the full protection of these important environments, while low-impact recreation activities, such as scuba diving, surfing and swimming are still allowed.

With the introduction of fishing restrictions in marine park sanctuary zones, the State Government committed to preparing Regional Impact Assessment Statements for Port Wakefield, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island to investigate any social and economic impacts from the implementation of this legislation by the 1st October 2015.

The Goyder Institute, in conjunction with its research partners, in particular the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES), undertook the important task of preparing the social and economic aspects of the Regional Impact Assessment Statements for Port Wakefield, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island.

The SACES research team sourced a range of available social and economic data to prepare these assessments. In addition, individuals and businesses in these regional communities provided feedback through formal submissions, surveys and face-to-face meetings between February and April 2015 to ensure local experiences were incorporated into the assessment process. 

The report Sanctuary Zones Regional Impact Assessment Statement: Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Wakefield prepared by SACES, provides the outcomes of the social and economic analysis undertaken by the Goyder Institute.

Further information regarding Marine Parks in South Australia can be found at

Northern Adelaide Plains Water Resources Stocktake

The Northern Adelaide Plains is a major producer of fresh food in South Australia. Growing global demand for food presents a large economic opportunity but requires greater certainty on available water. Undertaking a stocktake of existing information regarding the regions current and future water supply and demand supported sustainable economic development of the region.


The Goyder Institute for Water Research undertook a stocktake of the available water resource information of the greater Northern Adelaide region. The purpose of this stocktake was to consolidate the understanding of the existing and potential water available that could support regional economic development. The project focused on spects of water quantity, quality and constraints.

For more information, download the Northern Adelaide Plains Water Resources Stocktake factsheet.

The Technical Report 16/5 Northern Adelaide Plains Water Stocktake is available together with the spatial data layers that can be accessed via

Chris Wright

Manager Water Science, DEW

Chris Wright holds significant experience in public sector senior leadership, having led policy, scientific and operational business units over the last twelve years in both State and Commonwealth government agencies. Chris has excellent experiences in leading policy and strategy formulation. He is skilled in building and maintaining networks across the public and private sectors to facilitate business delivery; leading and negotiating with others to achieve outcomes; and in bridging the science-policy gap, drawing on earlier roles in geospatial information systems (GIS) consulting. Chris’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, a Masters of Spatial Information Science and graduation from the AICD Company Directors course in 2019.

Dr Ilka Wallis

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University

Dr Ilka Wallis is a hydrogeologist with areas of expertise in quantitative hydrogeology and geochemistry. Ilka focuses on the development of reactive geochemical transport models which integrate fundamental processes that are normally studied in isolation (hydrogeological, mineralogical, geochemical and biochemical).

Ilka is also an Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada since 2017.

Peter Goonan

Environmental Science Branch, EPA

Peter Goonan is the Principal Aquatic Biologist in the Environmental Science Branch of the EPA. He has over 30 years’ experience monitoring the condition of aquatic ecosystems in SA and assessing the environmental effects caused by discharges, deposits and contaminants entering inland and coastal waters. He specialises in aquatic invertebrate identification and their responses to contaminants and water quality stressors. He also provides expert professional advice relating to water quality risks, regulation, policy, and strategic directions, and represents the EPA as an expert witness in court.

Dr Paul Monis

Manager, Research Stakeholders and Planning, SA Water

Dr Paul Monis is a technical expert within SA Water’s Business Services group, which provides scientific expertise to support the delivery of water and wastewater services to SA Water’s customers. He has specialist expertise in the areas of biotechnology and microbiology, with almost 20 years’ experience applying DNA-based and other technologies to address water quality challenges posed by microorganisms, especially enteric pathogens. Dr Monis also holds title of Adjunct Associate Professor at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and UniSA.

Jennie Fluin

Principal Advisor Research Partnerships, DEW

Jennie’s role in the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) allows her to foster and strengthen opportunities for researchers to better connect with government to enable evidence-based decision making. Jennie has extensive experience working in both universities and government, allowing her to bridge the divide between the two sectors. She is focused on connecting natural resource researchers with natural resource decision makers, and facilitating fit for purpose partnerships.

Dr Tanya Doody

Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

Dr Tanya Doody is a Principal Research Scientist working on high impact spatial eco-hydrological projects within CSIRO’s Land and Water Business Unit. Dr Doody leads the Managing Water Ecosystems Group, based in Adelaide, Albury and Canberra and has significant experience in quantifying the water requirements of vegetation and at times, their impact on water resources. This involves ecophysiological field-based research to underpin remote sensing tools to scale regionally to improve our understanding of the effect of flood regimes on the health of water-dependent ecosystems on the Murray-Darling Basin floodplains. Additional research includes investigating the ecological response of vegetation to water availability and environmental water to inform integrated basin water planning and management.

Professor Lin Crase

Dean of Programs (Accounting & Finance), UniSA

Professor Lin Crase is Professor of Economics and Dean of Programs (Accounting & Finance) at UniSA. He joined UniSA in February 2016 as Head of School of Commerce. Prior to commencing at UniSA, Lin was Professor and Director of the Centre for Water Policy and Management at La Trobe University.

Lin’s research has focused on applied economics in the context of water. He has analysed water markets and the property rights that attend them, water pricing and numerous applications of water policy. Whilst his expertise includes the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, he has also worked on projects in south Asia, Japan and Europe. Lin has published over 100 journal articles, numerous book chapters, four books and a range of other papers and opinion pieces.

Professor Justin Brookes

Director, Water Research Centre, University of Adelaide

Justin has broad research interests in limnology and water treatment with a primary focus on coupling between hydrodynamics, biology and water quality contaminants such as cyanobacteria and pathogens. He is a founding member of the management committee of the IWA Specialist Group on Lake and Reservoir Management and member of the Steering Committee for the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network.

Justin has a PhD and a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours from the University of Adelaide.

Daniel Flaherty


Daniel Flaherty is the Accountant for the Goyder Institute for Water Research.

Daniel has extensive experience in higher education having worked in senior financial management roles at the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide over the past 26 years. Daniel has also been a Board Director on a number of university related entities. Prior to that, Daniel has worked in a range of agencies in the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Daniel is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide.

Dr Alec Rolston

Interim Director

Alec Rolston joined the Institute in 2021 as Research Program Manager of the Goyder Institute’s research projects in the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program. He has extensive experience in integrated water resource management, integrated catchment management, drinking water source protection and wetland ecology, conservation and management across Europe and Australia.

Alec holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland Maynooth and has worked with An Fóram Uisce|The Water Forum and the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland as well as the MANTEL Innovative Training Network across Europe.

Alec spent his early career in Adelaide working with Flinders University through the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLAMM) Ecology Research Cluster and within the Department for Environment and Water.

Daniel Pierce

Research and Development Officer

Daniel Pierce has managed research projects at the Goyder Institute for Water Research since November 2017 under both the second and third terms of the Institute.

Daniel brings experience in project management and knowledge transfer and application from 4 years working as a Senior Hydrogeologist in the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) in South Australia and from 13 years of private sector work in environmental management, science and engineering in Australia and the South Pacific. His work with DEW has included providing technical advice to the development and revision of Water Allocation Plans around South Australia in collaboration with researchers and policy makers, and managing a team of groundwater modellers and hydrogeologists involved in an assortment of water resource management issues.

Daniel has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons, Environmental) and a Bachelor of Science (Geography) from the University of Western Australia.

Professor Enzo Lombi

Dean of Research, UniSA STEM

Professor Lombi’s main contributions to environmental research cover various aspects of contaminant risk assessment, biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology and waste management. Furthermore, the methodological development he has pursued in his research has provided the basis for collaborative efforts in a variety of research areas ranging from soil fertility and plant physiology to human health issues related to contaminant uptake via occupational exposure and diet. In the last few years he has been increasingly focusing on the transformation and toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials in the environment.

Dr Carmel Pollino

Research Director Land and Water, CSIRO

Dr Carmel Pollino is a Research Director for Land and Water at CSIRO. She has 20 years of experience working on water issues in Australia and throughout Asia. Carmel has degrees in science and environmental law and works across the science and policy interface. Significant areas of research in Environmental Flows, Hydrology, Ecology and Integrated River Basin Planning. Carmel is the lead and also a contributor to global working groups on water and has published widely in this domain.

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders

Head of School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders is interim Head of School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide. Prof Gillanders completed her BSc at the University of Canterbury, MSc at the University of Otago and her PhD at the University of Sydney. She has a research background in environmental science focused predominantly on freshwater and marine ecology.

Her research interests include integrated marine management; coastal carbon opportunities; multiple use activities and cumulative impact assessment; biology, ecology and fisheries of cephalopods; stocking and provenance of fish; plastics in the marine environment including in seafood; use of fish bones (and other calcified structures) for assessing ecological and environmental change. She has trained and mentored ~70 Honours and Higher Degree Research students and shaped the future of 1000s of students through her undergraduate teaching. She is passionate about encouraging capable women to enter and remain in science careers.

Dan Jordan

Director, Water Security, Policy and Planning, Department for Environment and Water (DEW)

Dan Jordan is the Director, Water Security, Policy and Planning, Department for Environment and Water (DEW). Dan is also the Basin Officials Committee Alternate Member for South Australia.

Professor Okke Batelaan

Dean, School of the Environment, Flinders University

Professor Okke Batelaan is a graduate of the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (MSc – Hydrogeology) and of the Free University Brussels, Belgium (PhD – Engineering). He worked for more than 20 years at the Free University Brussels and also led the hydrogeology group at the KU Leuven, Belgium since 2006. He was chairman of the Interuniversity Programme in Water Resources Engineering.

Since 2012 Okke Batelaan is Strategic Professor in Hydrogeology and currently Dean of the School of the Environment, Flinders University. Okke has broad experience in teaching groundwater hydrology, groundwater modelling, GIS and remote sensing for hydrological applications. He was supervisor of more than 140 MSc and 25 PhD students. He has extensive research experience and a publication record in shallow groundwater hydrology and modeling, recharge-discharge estimation and modeling, urban hydrology and distributed modelling, ecohydrology and impacts of land use and climate change on groundwater systems. He coordinated and participated in a large number of projects in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. He is editor-in-chief of Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies and of MDPI-Hydrology.