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GWI and Melbourne Water launch algae science-practice partnership

The Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science-Practice Partnership was launched in Melbourne on Thursday 12 October and in Sydney on Friday 20 October, signalling the beginning of a new flagship program between UNSW-GWI and Melbourne Water.

The generous support of Melbourne Water demonstrates their long-term commitment to water stewardship in the region

Prof Ana Deletic, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), UNSW Sydney

The launches were well attended by water stakeholders from Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Australia, as people gathered to learn about the innovative Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science-Practice Partnership (NHASP) which aims to improve the management of algal blooms in the Melbourne region.

The multi-party initiative, which also involves the Victoria State Government, University of Newcastle, the Walter and Eliza and Hall Institute of Medical Research and Polytechnique Montréal, is exploring the introduction of smart surveillance and evidence-based, cost-effective policy and asset design for the benefit of the Melbourne region.

“We are very pleased to mark the beginning of this exciting new partnership”, said Professor Greg Leslie, Acting Director of the UNSW Global Water Institute.

Potentially harmful cyanobacteria and nuisance algae in water bodies, and within treatment plants, is an increasing problem faced by managers at Melbourne Water.

With these blooms appearing to be growing more frequent due to climate change, the NHASP seeks solutions to minimise their impact on the public, as well as on Melbourne Water’s assets and resources.

Prof Ana Deletic, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW Sydney, who spoke at the Sydney launch, acknowledged the significance of the partnership for UNSW, and thanked Melbourne Water for the opportunity to collaborate.

The launch of the NHASP

“The generous support of Melbourne Water demonstrates their long-term commitment to water stewardship in the region,” said Prof Deletic

“As a Foundation subject, dating back as far as 1949, water is a high priority for UNSW. Under our 2025 strategy, we have committed to making in an impact on the ‘big issues’ in the world, and water clearly compliments this vision.”

The NHASP acknowledges the importance of collaboration and turning research into practice, along with the global significance of algae, water quality problems and the need for innovative solutions.

More information on the Partnership and its projects can be found at www.algae.unsw.edu.au