Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Strategic groundwater research partnership

19 May 2015

A new strategic partnership between the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has been struck.

The partnership will enhance groundwater management in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) enabling the organisations involved to combine their scientific knowledge, information networks and research management expertise to improve their understanding of groundwater/surface water connectivity.

The partnership is being lead by Professor Craig Simmons from Flinders University, South Australia and includes other partners across government, industry and the research community, including Charles Sturt University.

The NCGRT is internationally recognised as a leading groundwater research and training institution. The Centre was initially funded for five years from 2009 by the National Water Commission and the Australian Research Council to undertake the research and training needed to achieve better management of Australia's important groundwater resources. Its strong track record in delivering world-leading science has resulted in its original university and industry partners extending their research alliance with the Centre, based at Flinders University, until December 2017. The new partnership with the MDBA emphasises both the value of the existing collaborative arrangements established through the Centre and the ongoing need for groundwater research and training.

The research effort will focus on two case study catchments with interdisciplinary teams investigating the extent integrated management of surface and groundwater can address contemporary challenges associated with farming given likely constraints associated with water reform and climate change.

Graham Centre member Professor Alan Curtis will lead the social research in both case study catchments.

"The social research team will provide essential information about farm-level decision making to support modelling of the impacts of changes in irrigation entitlements, climate, markets or new technologies, including the opportunities for conjunctive use of ground and surface water", said Professor Curtis. The new partnership between MDBA and NCGRT commenced in May with a meeting of the NCGRT research leaders, MDBA staff and representatives from state agencies in Victoria and NSW.