Meet Sudeep Nair, Hydrologist

We are continuing the Meet Our People series where we put the spotlight on the people that make up eWater Group. We are an organisation focused on delivering smart, sustainable water management solutions in Australia and internationally.

Sudeep Nair is one of our hydrological experts who has been working within our organisation and supporting our partners and clients nationally, and internationally, for nearly two years now, in addition to his 10 years of experience in the field of water resources management and modelling.

Sudeep’s interest in water resources began when he started his postgraduate studies at IIT Kharagpur leading him to pursue his doctoral studies in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources, and eventually academia. But the urge to work on real-world water resource problems and water modelling was too great, and Sudeep made the leap from research to eWater Group.

As one of our hydrologists, Sudeep works on Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source, and MUSIC, and supports this country’s most prominent government and non-government organisations to find solutions to support sustainable water management.

“I get the opportunity to involve in both the development of the tools and their application to solve real-world water management problems. Moreover, I am part of the team which supports the adoption and use of our software products through various training programs.”

Acting as a bridge between our customers, who include hydrologists and water modellers, and the software developer team, Sudeep identifies, tests, and reviews their models to ensure there are working at optimum levels to deliver high-quality water data and information in real time.

“I don’t have a typical day [at eWater Group] which is why I like working at our organisation. The hydrology team is a small and cohesive team, and we get the opportunity to get involved in almost all activities such as the development of new functionalities in Source and MUSIC, software maintenance and support, modelling, supporting clients and partners, and training.”

While our hydrology team may be small, it has a huge impact. “As a key member in a small team, my suggestions and feedback are heard and valued. It feels like a family here in eWater. I am also given the opportunity to undertake various training to regularly update my skills and knowledge.”

Like any industry, we face many challenges in water management and delivering high-quality data and information to a growing audience in Australia and internationally. For eWater Group our focus is offering Australian governments, water experts and institutions here and abroad the highest of expertise, knowledge, and support.

For Sudeep, the challenge we face is the need for clarity amongst modellers regarding the selection of appropriate water modelling tool to address changing and emerging needs of water managers.

“eWater Source [the National Hydrological Modelling Platform] is different and is increasingly being adopted in Australia which enables uniformity and comparison, along with [our other modelling platform] MUSIC, which is already used widely in Australia for urban water modelling purposes.

eWater Source, and MUSIC, are constantly evolving tools, with more capabilities and functionalities added to our toolkit based on customer feedback and requests. It is this continued drive to deliver better support and services which “make eWater tools ready for assessing new water-related challenges in the wake of climate change and other pressures.”

Who are we?

eWater Group is owned by the Australian Federal, State and Territory governments to further develop Australia’s world-class modelling tools and to provide support and training nationwide and internationally.

Our organisation is comprised of three divisions – eWater Solutions, the Australian Water Partnership and the Mekong Water Solutions to deliver water management solutions for communities in Australia and overseas.

We also partner with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and research groups and institutions to provide expertise and support for sustainable water management solutions in Australia and internationally, now and into the future.

Meet Sopheara Prom, Mekong Water Solutions

“Helping people have a better livelihood is at the heart of everything I do and want to do at Mekong Water Solutions.”

eWater Group is a unique organisation in the water sector. We are made up of hydrologists, software developers, water industry experts, innovators, program managers and everything in between. Our people are central to our mission to protect our most precious resource: water.

We are diverse, experienced and – most importantly – we all share a passion and commitment to supporting sustainable water management.

eWater Group manages three divisions – eWater Solutions, the Australian Water Partnership, and Mekong Water Solutions – with each division focused on a shared commitment to deliver water solutions and expertise to communities in Australia and internationally.

Mekong Water Solutions (MWS) primary focus is to provide sustainable and accessible water for people across the Mekong region through innovative solutions, collaborative partnerships, and with local knowledge at the heart of all we do. MWS delivers water projects in Cambodia that are funded by the Australian Government, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Royal Cambodian Government.

Sopheara Prom is Mekong Water Solutions’ Finance and Procurement Manager and is responsible for the operation of finance systems and procedures for MWS and its people.

Sopheara has a critical role in MWS to ensure we maintain and protect our strong financial system so our specialised local staff can deliver quality water expertise in Cambodia.

“I joined MWS to be part of the solutions to help people in the region. I am excited to share and utilise my knowledge and skills that contribute to Mekong Water Solutions and its future growth.”

“My main inspiration as a finance and procurement manager is to provide clear communications on finance management and internal control systems to all staff and stakeholders.”

“I am excited to learn new things with MWS to improve and develop myself to be a more critical and effective leader for the organisation.”

With more than 10 years’ experience in the finance and administration sector, Sopheara is playing a key role in the success of MWS but her love for development is strong and helping others is something she wants to expand on into the future.  

“I want to share my efforts and heart in helping people to have better livelihoods in very remote or urban areas in Cambodia and extend that to other places in Asia and the world.”

Sopheara’s passion for improving the lives of people and their communities in Cambodia is shared by everyone across the organisation as the region continues to face many environmental challenges, including water sustainability, and scarcity.

One of the main challenges for those living along the Mekong River is their vulnerability to floods during the wet seasons and lack of water during the dry season. For Sopheara the right approach is all about being strategic.

“Irrigation systems and water management are very important to retain water in dry seasons and prevent serious flooding in the rainy season. I think MWS has the right strategy and method to provide thoughtful solutions to water management problems around the area that allow households along the Mekong and nearby provinces to access safe water and to sustain water usage year-round.”

Meet Our People – Daxa Bhudia, Software Developer

We are diverse, and experienced, and most importantly we have a strong heritage of supporting sustainable water management.

We are incredibly lucky to have an organisation with people like Daxa Bhudia, our Software Developer, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to eWater Group.

Daxa has worked in the IT industry in both Australia and internationally for over eight years, and at eWater she is responsible for working on Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source.

Daxa’s love for software development and IT began early in the halls of her high school in Bhuj, India, and led her to complete her bachelor’s degree in IT. From there, Daxa worked across various domains including accounting, ERP systems, supply chain management, healthcare, logistics, petroleum, and manufacturing, before she entered the world of hydrology and science and joined eWater in 2022.

“I was amazed with the products developed at eWater that how it helps so much across the world for managing water resources and water quality.”          

“The region from where I come is very dry with low rainfall near to a salt desert in Kutch, [a district of Gujarat state in western India]. I have seen water crises in my childhood and heard stories from my parents about having to walk for so long in the morning just to get drinkable water. Even this is still the case in some of the regions in India.”

eWater Group is owned by Australian Federal, State and Territory governments to maintain and further develop Australia’s world-class modelling tools, and to provide support and training nationwide and internationally. The Group manages three divisions – eWater Solutions, Australian Water Partnership and Mekong Water Solutions – to deliver water management solutions for communities in Australia and overseas.

Daxa is a critical member of our eWater Solutions team which deliver eWater Source (Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform), together with other water management tools and support, for our Australian government partners, water managers in the public, private and research sectors, and various other clients.

Daxa’s role includes working closely with our developers and hydrology teams to provide software development and hydrological modelling services that advance Australia’s world-class water resource modelling tools, and our expertise, for our partners in Australia and around the world.

Daxa enjoys the problem-solving aspect of her role at eWater and finding innovative solutions to persistent and new challenges.

“I enjoy working on complex software, learning about hydrology, and incorporating it into the software. I always look forward to coming to work as it challenges my ability and enables me to give 100 percent and do my best.”

eWater Group and its partnership with Mekong River Commission

Australia has a long and proud history of supporting water resource management in the Mekong region.

eWater Group’s three divisions – eWater Solutions, Australian Water Partnership, and Mekong Water Solutions – play a critical role in sharing Australia’s technology and helping to build capabilities in the region.

Australia has been a partner of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) since its inception in 1995.  The MRC is an intergovernmental organisation, established “to help the lower Mekong countries build consensus around solutions that ensure a sustainable future for the Mekong and its people through basin monitoring, assessment, data and information sharing, and dialogue and cooperation.”

Since 2013, eWater Group has supported the Vientiane-based MRC and its four member countries (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam) to enhance the management of the Mekong River’s water for the benefit of all who depend on it.

So how do we support the MRC?

Through the Australian Water Partnership, Australia has mobilised assistance on a range of strategically important issues including sustainable hydropower, regional flood and drought management, and management of fisheries in the rapidly developing river. Several Australian organisations are involved in delivering technical and capacity development support as part of Australia’s long-standing partnership.

Through eWater Solutions, we have helped the MRC to increase their understanding of inflows into the river and the impacts of dams in the river basin on flow levels and sediment transportation through our flagship software product, eWater Source. This world-class science and technology platform is playing a key role in delivering several elements of the MRC 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, including the report on low flow and drought conditions in 2019-2021, the Joint Study between MRC and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Water Centre on Changing Pattern of Hydrological Conditions in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin and enhancements to the MRC’s Flood/Drought webpage to better integrate data and communicate vital information on river flows.

For our Solutions team, recent activities have included:

  • advice on quality control procedures for incorporating hydromet (water and meteorology) data into MRC systems, to better inform day-to-day operations and provide faster response times;
  • advice on the implementation of the MRC Procedures for data, water use and flow monitoring;
  • supporting the initiative of the MRC Document Management System to ensure experience and knowledge from the past informs future planning;
  • contributing to the report on low flow and drought conditions in 2019-2021, which was well received by international stakeholders;
  • upgrading the Mekong Source model to incorporate new information, such as the storage strategies of reservoirs, in preparation for the Joint Study between MRC and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Water Centre on Changing Pattern of Hydrological Conditions in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin;
  • coordinating and consolidating technical inputs from both the MRC and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Water Centre team members into the report of the Joint study;
  • enhancing the MRC’s Flood/Drought webpage to better integrate data and communicate vital information on river flows.

According to eWater Group’s Principal Hydrologist and Mekong Team Leader, Dr Paradis Someth, “the success of eWater’s involvement with the MRC has been due to visionary leadership and trust of both parties and our work being clearly and directly aligned with the MRC Strategic Plan, which has ensured support from across the MRC Secretariat and relevant stakeholders.”

“Our collaborative partnership, with its strong focus on advice and coaching for staff in MRCS and member countries, has helped to develop the necessary skills and expertise to improve management of the Mekong River,” Dr Someth said.

For Australian Water Partnership General Manager, Sarah Ransom, “the long-term partnership with the Mekong River Commission represents shared trust with one another, and a shared interest in sustainable management and development of water resources in the Mekong basin. We look forward to continuing our support in the region.”

Over this period, eWater has enjoyed close working relations with the MRC Secretariat Leadership team and DFAT’s Mekong regional water team. 

Meet Lucy Chilver, Australian Water Partnership

Lucy Chilver, Program Officer, Australian Water Partnership

eWater Group’s mission has always been to deliver sustainable water management solutions while sharing knowledge and experts in both Australia and internationally, and our people are central to achieving our mission.

Our organisation is made up of three divisions – eWater Solutions, the Australian Water Partnership, and Mekong Water Solutions – we are diverse and experienced, but most importantly we have a shared interest in supporting sustainable water management.

Lucy Chilver, Program Officer, AWP

Lucy Chilver is our Program Officer, within the Australian Water Partnership (AWP), where she supports the delivery of several activities in the Mekong region.

Lucy has an interesting role within the AWP where no two days are the same; she engages and supports our partners, prepares for existing and future projects, and helps promote our work to our many stakeholders.

For Lucy, her role at the AWP marks the beginning of her industry experience after completing a Bachelor of Development Studies at the Australian National University. After almost a year in our organisation we are excited about the positive impact Lucy has had in her nine months and counting.

“I enjoy working as part of a team, I learn a lot from my colleagues and always feel supported. It is very rewarding to work for an organisation that is supporting countries to work towards sustainable water resource management.”

“I am excited to see where this role takes me, and very grateful for the opportunity to work for AWP early in my career.”

Working within the AWP enables Lucy the opportunity to connect and engage with our international partners, particularly in the Mekong where she was able to see first-hand the impact our activities are having in-country and offer new insights into how we can better support the region.

The Mekong region is particularly vulnerable to climate change, which poses a threat to water sustainability and exacerbates water scarcity. For Lucy, continuing to invest in the water sector is critical to addressing this threat.

“We need to evaluate options for climate adaptation and resilience, improve management practices, and develop new water-saving tools and methodologies.”

“It is also important to encourage cooperation and knowledge exchange so people can share experiences and lessons learned.”

Sharing diverse experiences and lessons is critical to making a real difference on climate change and water sustainability in the Mekong region, and of course, in Australia too.

At eWater Group we are committed to supporting our people to bring new insights, experiences, critical thinking, and knowledge to everything we do. As we say, our people are central to our organisation and help us deliver sustainable water management solutions in Australia and internationally.

Supporting more diversity in our workplace, and in the water sector as a whole, is key to encouraging more diverse thinking and approaches to protect our most precious resource, water.

For Lucy, creating more leadership roles for women and girls needs to be further encouraged as, “women can bring new and different perspectives to all kinds of problem-solving.  From their particular experiences in accessing and using water at a community level, women and girls often have a profound understanding of the challenges posed by insecure access to quality water, and so their involvement can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of water project outcomes.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Food security depends on better water management

Food security depends on better water management

Damien Pearson, General Manager, eWater Solutions

World Water Day (March 22) this year provided an opportunity to reflect on the importance of best practice water management solutions to support our global food security. In 2022 the world’s population reached eight billion people.[i] With 8 billion mouths to feed, we need to ask a lot from the world’s food producing regions and we need to do a lot to support the ask.

We can feel proud of the role Australian technologies are playing to improve the management of the world’s precious water resources. One of the key benefits of these efforts is significant improvement in the sustainability and productivity of many of the world’s irrigated agricultural regions, a vital endeavour to sustainably improve global diet, nutrition and health outcomes.

Irrigated agriculture today represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent of global agricultural output. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, thereby allowing for more production intensification and crop diversification. The World Bank estimates that agricultural production will need to expand by up to 70 percent by 2050 to feed humanity[ii], just as climate change is making rainfall less predictable. Better management of water resources and improved efficiency in the use of water in agriculture will be essential to meet the additional demand upon water resources.

This need is being responded to with significant global investment. Many of the world’s food producing regions are presently within a golden age with significant investments enhancing crop-per-drop by adopting precision irrigation scheduling technologies, modern high efficiency water application systems, and highly efficient surface water conveyance networks.

One of the key investment questions to be asked is whether we truly understand the future capacity of rivers and catchments to supply the water that irrigation systems rely on. As we focus on improvements in the management of water from the catchment to the root zone of the crop, are our decisions informed by an understanding of the future possible water availability in the irrigation area? Hydrological modelling systems such as eWater’s Source address these very questions by enabling water resource managers to assess future inflow scenarios and the agricultural production that can be sustained. This is vital to making well-informed food security investment decisions.

eWater is proud to be a part of the story of managing the waters of Australia’s Murray Darling Basin. Australia’s national water modelling platform, eWater Source, is being used for planning the sustainable use of the Basin’s water resources and increasingly for operating the Murray River system to efficiently deliver water to users.

eWater Source provides a reliable and repeatable means for managing surface water, entitlements and allocations, climate change impacts on the water cycle such as increased rates of evapotranspiration and managing the inevitable trade-offs in water demand and use.

eWater Source map

As Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling System, eWater Source is used in many developing countries where food security is a immediately pressing development challenge, and where, sadly, large populations are on the edge of poverty. 

Our integrated modelling platform is highly valued by international governments wanting to access Australia’s water expertise and tools. We are increasingly working with international clients to develop Source models and build their water management capacity.

Global food security will depend on improved water management in agriculture and eWater Source has become an important tool for delivering water when and where it is needed by farmers.

Learn more about eWater Source at https://ewater.org.au/products/ewater-source/

Damien Pearson, General Manager, eWater Solutions

About the Author

Damien Pearson is the General Manager for eWater Solutions. His career has focused on technologies to improve water use efficiencies within irrigation areas in the Murray-Darling Basin, the Americas, Central Asia, Northern Africa and Europe. Damien is a systems engineer by training with extensive career experience in hydraulic modelling, software development, embedded systems development, and network distributed measurement and control technologies.

Prior to joining eWater, Damien served for 23-years in a range of roles within Australian water technology company Rubicon Water. Damien’s roles spanned R&D, product development, management of Rubicon’s North American operations and subsequent management of global business development. Damien’s experience includes the implementation of some of the world’s largest integrated control and measurement solutions to precisely manage agricultural water supply networks. This career history has provided Damien with extensive experience in the challenges faced by water users and management authorities, and the provision of tools to facilitate the improved management of water systems.

[i] https://unric.org/en/8-billion-people-10-facts-on-the-worlds-population/

[ii]  World Bank, Water in Agriculture, 2022.  https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water-in-agriculture

International Women’s Day 2023

Our people are central to what we do here at eWater Group.

Supporting and empowering our people to deliver sustainable water management solutions is critical to our success, and that includes creating opportunities, and empowering our people to find solutions to increasingly changing environments both in Australia and overseas.

This year, we are marking International Women’s Day by supporting UN Women Australia’s theme: Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future.  

Michael Wilson, eWater Group CEO

eWater Group CEO, Michael Wilson says, “eWater Group is a passionate advocate and agent for gender equality and the empowerment of women. International Women’s Day gives our organisation and our employees the chance to celebrate achievements on gender equity and diversity more generally. We are an employer of choice and embrace and celebrate diversity in how we work as an organisation, and how we work with our partners, both in Australia and overseas.

“I am really proud of our people, who all support and empower each other to contest conventional ways of thinking and to innovate to strengthen our impact, including through the extraordinary work we are able to do to help communities in Australia – and in developing countries across the globe – manage their water more sustainably.”

eWater Group is owned by Australian federal, state, and territory governments to maintain and further develop Australia’s world-class water modelling tools, and to provide support and training nationwide and internationally. The Group manages three divisions – eWater Solutions, the Australian Water Partnership and Mekong Water Solutions – to deliver water management solutions for communities in Australia and overseas.

We asked our people to share their thoughts on what we, as a global community, can do to support innovation and technology for gender equality for women and girls in the water sustainability and management sector.

Dr Laura Beckwith, Mekong Coordinator, Australian Water Partnership

Innovations in technology are creating new opportunities for communication and connection but these opportunities are not equally available, according to Dr Beckwith.

“Worldwide, women and girls – as well as older people, people in rural areas and other marginalised groups– face additional barriers to access and engagement with technology, particular through internet connectivity – the so-called ‘digital divide’.”

“In the water sector, innovation and technology can provide many benefits to how we monitor, measure, manage and communicate about water, but there is a need to ensure that women and girls – and other marginalised groups– have a voice in shaping how water is used and managed. Participatory approaches to planning and decision-making can help to ensure that innovation in the water sector will foster sustainable and inclusive solutions.”

Lucy Chilver, Program Manager, Australian Water Partnership

For Lucy, creating more leadership roles for women and girls needs to be further encouraged as, “women can bring new and different perspectives to all kinds of problem-solving.  From their experiences in accessing and using water at a community level, women and girls often have a profound understanding of the challenges posed by insecure access to quality water, and so their involvement can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of water project outcomes.”

Juanita Moolman, Senior Hydrologist, eWater Solutions

As one of our most respected and senior hydrologists, Juanita Moolman, has been at eWater since 2012 where she has been instrumental in helping to build the capacity of future generations to meet the challenges that will be facing global water availability.

“As part of my role I have had the opportunity to train and mentor hydrologists from across the region as well as our own team and sharing my knowledge and experience with them is very rewarding for me.”

Praveeni Prematilleke, Senior Test Analyst, eWater Solutions

“I believe we can empower women in information technology by providing equal opportunities for both technical and leadership roles, including mentoring and providing support to booth their confidence.” 

Mukta Sapkota, Urban Hydrologist, eWater Solutions

A sustainable workforce requires diversity. Giving women and girls opportunities to consider hydrology, or other STEM roles, starts with education and creating opportunities to go into these fields as adults, as well as breaking down the barriers for current female hydrologists in the industry.

“I believe we need more women and girls in hydrology to maintain gender diversity for creating a healthy work environment at workplaces. We also need more women in higher management to foster gender equality and put forth women in leadership to ensure this principle is implemented.”

Samira Azadi, Hydrologist, eWater Solutions

 “We need to make sure we take the mystery out of hydrology. We need to show women and girls that hydrology is a fantastic field to work in and that you can take the theory and work in many places throughout the world.”

“I also believe it is important that we mentor and support women in our industry. I believe that is key to supporting each other to ensure diversity of thinking in our field.”

Daxa Bhudia, Software Developer, eWater Solutions

For Daxa the key to support more diversity in a workplace is to see more “gender-balanced workplaces, and more women in leadership roles. This improves workplace culture and leads to creative changes in industries.”

Sopheara Prom, Finance and Procurement Manager, Mekong Water Solutions

For Sopheara it is important to encourage women and girls to feel more supported within the industry; giving them opportunities to raise their voice and have their opinion heard in the water sector.

Channpisey Nop, Irrigation Engineer, Mekong Water Solutions

Channpisey is a real champion of support more women and girls into the water sector in Cambodia and in the life of society.

“The woman performs the role of wife, partner, organizer, administrator, director, re-creator, disburser, economist, mother, disciplinarian, teacher, health officer, artist, and queen in the family at the same time. Apart from it, woman plays a key role in the socio-economic development of society.”

“Globally, women have become engines for economic growth. Achieving gender diversity in enterprises is of critical importance to improving business outcomes. Women are often under-represented in the academic and professional fields of engineering, and not enough women have contributed as much as they should be able to the diverse fields of engineering historically and now.”

“For example, at Mekong Water Solutions, I am the only female engineer, so more work needs to be done to support more women and girls in engineering, but we are committed to doing that.”

“We need to encourage women and girls to feel supported to be innovative in the water space, need more value from people around them for their skills by providing more benefits for their hard work, encouraging them to believe in themselves.”

We celebrate and support International Women’s Day

Encouraging and inspiring words from the incredible people who work across the full spectrum of roles we have at eWater Group in Australia and internationally.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating the diverse skills and experience women bring to our communities, and workplace.

eWater Group is proud to support International Women’s Day and acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of our people make to our mission to support sustainable water management solutions for people and communities right across Australia and overseas.

Meet Our People – Laura Beckwith

The health and wellbeing of urban environments and the people who inhabit them continues to be a challenge for government and decision makers, private sector, and experts, now and into the future.

How we meet increasing demands for better water management and resources, as well as protect the local environment, is a conversation that eWater Group and our extraordinary, experienced experts are excited to be a part of.

The Australian Water Partnership, managed on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as part of the eWater Group, plays a pivotal role in sharing and deploying Australian expertise in sustainable water management to improve water security in the Indo-Pacific region.  AWP is one of the Australian Government’s flagship initiatives in natural resource management and climate resilience, helping to tackle poverty and realise the Sustainable Development Goals in our region and globally. 

The importance of valuing different kinds of knowledge in water governance together with meeting our current and future needs is central to our resident Mekong Coordinator, Laura Beckwith, who represents our organisation in the region.

Laura Beckwith, Mekong Coordinator, AWP

Who is Laura Beckwith?

Laura isn’t new to the world of water governance and sustainable water management. She holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Ottawa in Canada, specialising in urban adaptation to climate change.

She has lived and worked in the Mekong Region since 2017, leading research on community responses to socio-ecological change in the Mekong Delta. In addition to this, she also brings more than 10 years’ experience in grant and relationship management in East Africa, Canada, and the UK.

With such a broad background, how did all roads lead to the Australian Water Partnership and the eWater Group?

After five years of living in East Africa and Canada, Laura wanted to take her PhD and apply it to Southeast Asia and how their communities were adapting to an ever-changing environment. This decision led her to Cambodia where she engaged with urban farmers in Phnom Penh to understand how they were impacted by urban expansion through wetland in-filling alongside environmental change, such as flooding, increase in temperature, and variability of storms as part of the regional Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia (UCRSEA) project. Laura’s research highlighted the importance of urban wetlands to food security, livelihoods, and wastewater management.

Water is such a significant part of Cambodia’s identity, and with Phnom Penh being built on three major rivers, the sustainable management of water and its resources is critical. “Water is such an important part of the history of the city, you can’t work or study here, or even live here, without your work or life touching water one way or another; it influences the city.”

Your work at the Australian Water Partnership

Laura now supports our efforts in the Mekong region by providing a regional perspective and expertise on the ground including insights and challenges as well as managing projects and engaging with local government and water experts in country.  AWP will also work closely with Mekong Water Solutions, a new initiative also funded by DFAT aimed at establishing better water technical and multi-disciplinary project management skills within the Mekong region itself.

“I love the variety of the role, the challenges; I am doing different things every day. I love that I am working in the region in different contexts, including Cambodia and Vietnam and now I am having the opportunity to learn about the diversity and challenges of Laos. It is exciting.”

“It is exciting for me to be working for an organisation that is engaging with governments in a meaningful way. It is important that governments and local and national institutions are leading the way on conversations and responses to water resources and challenges facing the water sector.”

One invaluable insight for Laura was her recent engagement with local water experts who were appreciative of AWP’s technical support and collaborative approach, which was supporting their efforts to deliver successful water projects in the region.

It is this feedback that drives Australian Water Partnership and its experts to continue to do the work that they do; being represented in the region provides support to the success of our organisation but importantly to the protection of our most precious resource – water.

So how do we protect our water resources now and into the future?

For Laura, one of the many challenges we face right now is planning for a future we don’t know, and how we put in systems now for a tomorrow. “Global environmental change and particularly climate change is creating a lot of uncertainty which will challenge the way we use and manage water.” A challenge all humans, governments and institutions need to consider as demand for natural resources continues to grow.

Laura believes the Australian Water Partnership approach of working together with local government and institutions is the best way forward to have lasting change.

Meet Our People – Praveeni Prematilleke

How we contribute to sustainable water management can come in many shapes and sizes, but what is consistent is our commitment to protecting our most precious resource, water.

eWater Group is made up of hydrologists, software developers, water industry experts and innovators. We are diverse, experienced, and most importantly we have a strong heritage of supporting sustainable water management.

Praveeni Prematilleke is our Senior Test Analyst who works with our developers and hydrologists to ensure we deliver quality software, functionality and an exceptional user experience for all Australian governments and other clients. She offers our partners and clients, together with our team, the support they need to make the right decisions when it comes to sustainable water management, which includes delivering eWater Source, the National Hydrological Modelling Platform.

Praveeni Prematilleke, Senior Test Analyst

After obtaining a Bachelor of Engineering (Telecommunications and Network) in 2014 from Swinburne University of Technology, and briefly working in the industry, Praveeni changed her sights on a career in testing.

“I decided to make a career change as I was interested in exploring software developing/quality assurance opportunities. I find my testing career gives me the perfect balance between coding and stakeholder interactions.”

What is your role at eWater Group?

After starting her testing career in 2015 as a Technical Tester, Praveeni made the move to Canberra and to eWater Group. Since joining in 2018, Praveeni has become an integral part of our eWater Solutions team, and of course the wider organisation for her contributions to software and water management.

“I’m a nature enthusiast and I was always a huge supporter for conserving natural resources. When I first heard about the opportunity at eWater, it made me curious to explore more about their mission and the range of software products managed by them.”

“It is truly satisfying to know that the software we implement at eWater is contributing to sustainable water management, something that would benefit the world in many ways.”

For a software tester, no two days are the same, especially when it comes to testing on complex applications like eWater Source.

“I love knowledge sharing with the developers and hydrologists as it helps me understand the user requirements and the technical aspects. It feels rewarding as I get the opportunity to work with these amazing people. I also enjoy playing a role where I can deliver a quality product which not only makes customers happy but also maintains customer credibility.”

How do we find solutions for sustainable management of water resources?

At eWater Group, our priority is to support the environmentally sustainable management of water resources in Australia and around the world, which includes finding solutions and adapting to changing environments and conditions.

Praveeni believes we can address this challenge by performing ‘stress testing’ on existing water models for extreme events to ensure they can operate in foreseeable circumstances and enable measures for timely implementation to secure water for critical human needs.

eWater’s mission to provide software development and hydrological modelling services is advancing Australia’s world-class water resources modelling tools, and our expertise, for our partners in Australia and around the world.

How do we support more diverse expertise in water management?

Our people are central to what we do here at eWater Group. Supporting and empowering our people to deliver sustainable water management solutions is critical to our success, and that includes creating opportunities.

“I believe we can empower women in information technology by providing equal opportunities for both technical and leadership roles, including mentoring and providing support to boost their confidence.” 

eWater at MODSIM 2023


From 9-14 July 2023, Darwin’s Convention Centre will host the 25th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation – MODSIM 2023. The conference brings together modellers from a diverse range of fields, to showcase the latest science, technology and application of modelling to solve the challenges of our time.

Our Session at MODSIM 2023

We are excited to be attending MODSIM 2023 and will host a session in the Water Resouces Stream (session J7).

Providing Water for all: modelling to improve water security for communities,

the environment and industry

Our session will focus on several topics, including:

  • how water modelling helps us understand water resources, including how they change and the interplay between supply and demand.
  • the use of water modelling to inform water management decision-making.
  • The application of Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source.

We know the eWater community has lots of fantastic work to share and we’d love to help you showcase it to the broader modelling community.  

Submissions are now open

Submissions for full papers (max 7 pages) are due by Friday 10 March and Extended Abstracts (one page) by Friday 21 April. 

Full papers will be published in the online conference proceedings, extended abstracts will not be. Delegates will have a choice of presentation type (oral or poster) but the organisers will make the final decision on type. Both oral and poster presenters must attend in person.  

Submissions are to be uploaded using Ex Ordo, make sure you read the instructions for authors and how to upload your submission.   

If you would like to discuss being part of our session, please get in touch with session co-convenor, Trudy Green

Conference Details

9-14 July 2023, Darwin, Australia

MODSIM 2023 will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre, from Sunday 9 July to Thursday 13 July, with a workshop day on Friday 14 July. The conference will be in person only, but plenaries and keynotes will be live streamed and available to watch free of charge. 

Following the theme: Modelling to support planning for resilience in a changing world, the conference will feature 14 streams and almost 100 sessions and typically attracts 600-900 participants.

Registration dates

  • Early Bird registration closes 31 March 2023 ($950 or $650 for students/retirees)
  • All presenting authors are to be registered by 15 May 2023
  • Last day to register is 30 June 2023

Full registration is $1050, $750 for student/retired

For full details about registration, streams and sessions, and logistics, visit the conference website.

NB: Accommodation can be difficult to find in Darwin during July, please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information visit MODSIM 2023 website

Source 5.20 now available

eWater Source 5.20 now available

We are pleased to share with our Source community that the latest Production Release of Source version 5.20 is now available.

eWater Source is Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, providing all levels of governments, researchers, and consultants with accurate and relevant information on water supply and demand within cities, agriculture, and the environment.

Our expert team have undertaken key updates and improvements in version 5.20 which includes:

  • Updates to the Storage Ownership logic.
  • Addition of a filtering option that allows output data to be limited to specific recorder sets.
  • Enhancements to River Operations Mode, including:

    • option to override data sources in the Tabular Editor
    • option to override minimal flow requirements.

  • Updates and improvements to Continuous Accounting functionality.

Our team has also undertaken small enhances and bug fixes to improve your user experience.

As a user of eWater Source, this platform is adaptable to any region in Australia and is flexible to link new and existing models and other systems. We want to provide an exceptional user experience to enable you to make the right decisions for your local needs.  

To learn more about Source, MUSIC and or other tools and support head to our “Tools” page > https://ewater.org.au/products/

Source - Map

Meet our people – Kuan Bartel

When you think of a software developer, what comes to mind? Do you think of someone who develops water modelling software platforms? Or maybe someone who designs and creates tools and resources that help contribute to protecting our most precious resource, water? You would be right!

At eWater Group, we have a broad skillset. We are made up of hydrologists, software developers, water industry experts and innovators. We are diverse, experienced, and most importantly we have a strong heritage of supporting sustainable water management.

Kuan Bartel, Senior Software Developer

Kuan Bartel is our Senior Software Developer. He works alongside an incredible team of software developers, thinkers, creatives; people who are dedicated to delivering software of national importance that contributes to the sustainable management of our water resources.

Kuan contributes to the development and maintenance of the eWater Source water modelling software platform and other related tools and systems. This software is an integral part of the National Hydrological Modelling Platform as outlined by the National Hydrological Modelling Strategy for the modelling of surface water in Australia.

It is also the base for modelling tools developed for urban water modelling used by water utilities and municipal councils around the country.

The software developed at eWater is significantly more complex than standard software and requires developers to have a wide range of knowledge and skills. This allows them to work on not only the mathematical modelling algorithms, but also the UI, database, file formats, web services, and a plethora of tools and systems needed for the development, building, and providing access to, our software and services. There is always more which needs to be done.”

Working at eWater for the past seven years, in addition to his 18 years within the industry, has enabled Kuan to deliver incredible work for our partners and customers at all levels of Australian governments, together with local councils and consultants throughout the country.

“I enjoy working with both the concepts within the domain space and the algorithms needed for the water modelling which can be both interesting and challenging to conceptualise and develop within the software.”

I’ve always been interested in sustainability and the environment. Prior to working at eWater, I was working at a research institute in Japan developing scientific software for undertaking Life Cycle Analysis of products and services. I had also done some post graduate studies in Environmental Management, which included some modelling of complex systems.”

“With my interests and experience, eWater is a good fit for me. A place where I could feel that my work would be valued and would make a difference.”