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Water Challenges of Oceania: Today to 2025

As the host of the IWRA Oceania Chapter, IWRA’s newest regional chapter, the UNSW Global Water Institute was thrilled to host a webinar on “Water Challenges of Oceania: Today to 2025”. The webinar topic was designed to draw out the unique challenges and opportunities Oceania presents and engage a multidisciplinary panel and audience in a discussion on the most urgent water challenges in Oceania, and those on the horizon that need to be prepared for.

Distinguished speakers included Dr. Andrew Dansie, Chair of IWRA Oceania Chapter and Program Manager at UNSW-GWI; Dr. Amelia Turagabeci, HoD Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland; Professor Paul Jagals, Honorary Professor in Integrated Environment Health, Child Health Research Centre, School of Public Health, University of Queensland; Dave Hebblethwaite, Water Governance Coordinator, Pacific Community; and Associate Professor Lucy Marshall, Deputy Director, Water Research Centre, School of Civic and Environmental Engineering, UNSW. The webinar was moderated by Scott McKenzie, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia.

The panel discussed the specific risks to water management in the region, based on their own perspectives across various disciplines including social science, on-ground advocacy, and engineering. The hazards and potential impacts of climate change related floods, storms, and droughts were a common theme, and the panel also pointed to the importance of foregrounding traditional knowledge to address the uncertainty caused by climate change—while recognising the special challenge this can play in the public policy sphere.

The expert input gathered from the webinar will now be used to frame the development of an IWRA Policy Brief in partnership with the IWRA Oceania membership base, followed by a special issue journal in late 2019 to be presented at the 17th World Water Congress, to be held in 2020 in Daegu, South Korea, in keeping with the theme of ‘Sustainable Water Management’. Please contact the IWRA Oceania Chair, Dr. Andrew Dansie, if you would like to contribute.

View the full webinar on YouTube or join the discussion on the IWRA LinkedIn page.

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