Industry specialisations

Water research has a long and dignified history at UNSW, with many academic/industry relationships and partnerships spanning many years. The industries we have particular strengths and experience in include:

Aquaculture and fisheries:

We have helped improving income and food security for rural communities by:

  • Increasing farm yields
  • Reducing environmental degradation
  • Controlling disease outbreaks
  • Managing resource competition
  • Developing sustainable farming practices
  • Building local capacity
  • Increasing benefits to farmers

Mine water productivity and waste management:  

The Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices is a world leader in developing practices that improve mine water productivity and waste management. Particular expertise lies in:

  • Water productivity-footprint in coal and uranium mining
  • In situ recovery of metals for future mines
  • Groundwater-geomechanical processes for underground roof stability
  • Hydraulics and geochemistry of low permeability barriers
  • Dewatering of excavations
  • Mine water balance and aquifer interference
  • Mine subsidence impacts on shallow aquifers and peat swamps
  • Long term water quality of mine voids and beneficial use options
  • Underground disposal of mine tailings and wastes

Water utilities:

GWI researchers collaborate with water utilities across Australia and internationally to:

  • Assist in identifying solutions to long-term and emerging problems such as strategies for addressing water shortages, overcoming water quality problems and preparing for adaptation to climate change
  • Improve water quality characterisation, enhance treatment process performance, develop new water quality monitoring techniques and refine stakeholder communication strategies
  • Undertake risk assessment activities that have been required of utilities from regulators such as NSW Health and the EPA
  • Develop water industry guidelines such as the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling

Agriculture and horticulture:

We are working with several agricultural, pastoral and horticultural industries to solve their water problems. This ranges across:

  • Improving irrigation water use efficiency
  • Understanding biochemical interactions in the root zone
  • Methods to adapt to climate change
  • Novel technologies
  • Sustainability assessments for new enterprises

Coal seam gas: 

Coal seam gas has become an intensely contentious public issue with primary concerns focusing on unsustainable water usage from groundwater supplies and the potential risk of groundwater being polluted from mining activities. We have highly skilled researchers with considerable industry experience working in the following areas:

  • Water resource impact assessment
  • Mapping aquifer connectivity
  • Geological mapping
  • Geological fault analysis
  • 3D geological models
  • Groundwater chemical analyses
  • Gas characterisation
  • Gas leak detection
  • Fugitive emission estimations