Meet Dr. Melina Vidoni, eWater Solutions

Dr. Melina Vidoni, Software Development Lead, eWater Solutions

I am a big believer in fostering collaboration and empowering and pushing my team to be more responsive and agile to changes in the market and customer needs with a great emphasis on collaboration across our developers, research software engineers and hydrologists.”

We are excited about the future of eWater Group. We are continuing our commitment to the pursuit of sustainable management of water resources through the sharing of best practices, capabilities, and knowledge of Australian water expertise nationally and internationally.

And through this, we have made significant investments in the skills and expertise within our software development and hydrological division, eWater Solutions, which is responsible for Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source, as well as our other software tools, such as eWater MUSIC.

Our organisation is a high-calibre team of software developers, hydrologists, academics, sales and project managers, public policy and water industry experts will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our Australian and international owners, partners, and stakeholders.

As our Software Development Lead for the software and hydrological division of eWater Group, Dr Melina Vidoni brings an extraordinary breadth of technical and academic experience to our organisation, including extensive experience in technical debt identification and repayment strategies.

For those not in the know, originally coined by Ward Cunningham in 1992, an American computer programmer, technical debt was considered to be the result of software developers choosing a low-quality solution due to time constraints, wanting a faster or earlier release. This definition evolved over time, and by 2010 it was acknowledged that over 16 types of Technical Debt existed (Alves et al., 2014) including process, people, requirements, and architecture debt, among others.

Nowadays, and taking a step further towards understanding technical debt in organisations’, Gartner’s definition posits that technology debt is the outstanding amount of money an organisation must spend on digital technology cost obligations to continue doing business, and the incremental burden of shortcuts caused due budget or managerial decisions.

This definition later evolved to include the decisions of all those who are somehow involved in software and, as researchers on the Software Engineering Institute demonstrated, can be highly affected by external, contextual factors.

Melina graduated from the Universidad Tecnologica Nacional (UTN) in Santa Fe, Argentina as an Information Systems Engineer before receiving her PhD, summa cum laude, at the same institution. After completing her PhD, Melina moved to Australia to pursue an academic career and gain international experience, including Lecturer at the Australian National University in the CEC School of Computing, where she specialised in technical debt identification and repayment strategies.

Melina’s career at the Australian National University enabled her to foster her international collaborations with researchers from around the world, including Canada and Australia. It is this interest in technical debt and the development of scientific software that led her to eWater Group.  

During one of her searches for internship positions for her research students, and possible partners interested in research translation, Melina found eWater Group.

“I have always been very keen on applicable, hands-on research outputs that could benefit the industry – and that led me to start collaborating with a number of companies seeking to host scientific software, or to perform an agile transformation, acquiring over 12 years of research translation and coaching experience.”

“I was taken by the reach of eWater Source – Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform. It is, by far, one-of-its-kind in terms of size, influence, and its immeasurable impact to foster and support data-driven, science-derived decision-making across Australia’s Government.”

“Being able to work with eWater, the custodians of a unique and powerful research-derived software, presents both an intellectual challenge (given my areas of research), but also a way to make a clear impact in the world – the sustainable and responsible management of water resources will benefit the entirety of Australia.

“eWater Solutions has a critical role to play in the current landscape of climate change and resilience, and the intrinsic need for humankind to protect its natural resources.”

Since starting at eWater Group in June last year, Melina has had a positive and significant impact on the eWater Solutions team through her commitment to creating a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration, with the stakeholder at its centre.

“I am a big believer in fostering collaboration and empowering and pushing my team to be more responsive and agile to changes in the market and customer needs with a great emphasis on collaboration across our developers, research software engineers and hydrologists.”

“In our work with our owners, partners and stakeholders, it is critical we continue to adapt our software products to modern times, while continuing to provide operational excellence, as well as fostering and nourishing the reliability of our products.”

Melina’s leadership within the eWater Solutions team, and wider eWater Group, is part of our continued commitment to innovate and strengthen our impact in Australia and internationally. This includes the role artificial intelligence plays in research software and water modelling, and of course the science and technology industry.

“In various areas of science, artificial intelligence is being used to analyse massive amounts of data, automate routine tasks, and make new discoveries that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.”

“AI is being increasingly integrated into scientific discovery, and so far, AI approaches have proven useful to accurately model complex, non-linear hydrological processes, to cross imaging data sources with data from sensing tools, always leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoTs) (Chang et al., 2023).”

“Deep learning has been successfully used to project the production and consumption of resources and deal with the increased demand (Raya-Tapia et al., 2023), to identify crop water stress (Chandel et al., 2021), and across multiple areas of the hydrological modelling, including urban water security, prediction of physical processes, and smart-city water management (Allen-Dumas et al., 2021).”

“eWater and AWP are at the forefront of hydrological modelling in Australia. I could not think of any organisation better positioned than us to spearhead the translation of fresh, novel research into usable systems that will empower decision-makers to rely on trustable, sound science.”

References:

Who is eWater Group?

Jointly owned by all Australian governments, eWater Group provides stewardship, management, development, enhancement, skills-building, research, access, and transparency in water management and modelling tools, capability, and capacity.

We do this in the interests of our government members, stakeholders, clients, and customers and on behalf of the Australian people who have invested in us.

eWater Group, and through our divisions, eWater Solutions and the Australian Water Partnership, support governments, organisations, and water managers to use our tools and products, expertise, and international development program management capabilities, including in their pursuit of integrated water resource management objectives and poverty reduction.




International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary people and their successes in science and technology.

Today is also recognition of the need for everyone across all sectors to join together to break down barriers to support the continued success of this current, and the next generation, of girls and women in science and technology for the benefit of all.

eWater Group is a diverse workforce. Our people have years, decades of experience from a various range of industries, including science and technology, academia, public policy, and more – with a central focus of finding sustainable water management solutions in Australia and internationally.

We are incredibly proud of our people and have profiled their extraordinary experience over the last several months, follow this link to read the profiles:

Our people represent a diversity of skills and experience across all sectors of government and private sectors.

Through eWater Solutions, we deliver a range of science and technology programs such as Australia’s National Hydrological Platform, eWater Source™, as well as eWater MUSIC™ which is Australia’s leading urban water sensitive platform, used by councils, governments, and water experts in Australia and globally.

Though the Australian Water Partnership, we work with more than 240 Australian partners to support sustainable and climate-resilient water resource management through skills and knowledge in response to demands from stakeholders across South Asia, the Mekong region, and the Pacific.

We recognise the importance of International Day of Women and Girls in Science and continue our efforts to support and celebrate the achievement of girls and women and need to continue the fight to break down barriers.




A thank you to our people

As we near the end of the year, we celebrate our achievements as an organisation and the challenges we have overcome to deliver water policies and programs with integrity and value for the communities we support throughout Australia and in developing countries around the world.

Michael Wilson, Group CEO, eWater Group “I take this opportunity to thank the hard work and perseverance of eWater Group employees and am optimistic that our organisation has a bright and dynamic future ahead of us driven by a creative, expert, and professional team.”

We look forward to 2024 and continue our work in the pursuit of sustainable management of water resources through the development and sharing of best practices, capabilities, and knowledge of Australian water expertise, nationally and globally.




From Our Chair: Australian Water Solutions

Australian Water Solutions and the role of eWater Group in Australia and internationally

Greg Claydon, Chair and Independent Director, eWater Limited Board, deep dives into the challenges ahead for the water industry next year and the role of eWater Group in Australia and internationally.

As we move into our twelfth year of operation as eWater Limited, this past year has provided an opportunity to refresh the strategic direction of the organisation, including strong custodianship of a modernised national hydrological modelling platform that is fit-for-purpose, now and into the future. 

No other organisation can ensure the safe custody and prudent ongoing development of this critical national asset.

eWater Source, used appropriately, greatly assists those tasked with the sensible and sustainable management of Australian water resources to make high-quality, informed, confident, transparent, equitable and wise decisions.

This past year was also an opportunity for the Australian Water Partnership and Mekong Water Solutions to further strengthen our international efforts and our partnerships to build water security, resilience, equality and understanding in the face of climate change, population growth, demographic shifts, poverty reduction and other challenges. 

Through these efforts and partnerships, we aim to support and further develop Australia’s world-class water management and modelling products, services, and capabilities.

We also aim to deliver operational excellence and capacity building as a trusted adviser to international governments, demonstrating and exhibiting strong capabilities in international development program management.

Most importantly, we finish 2023 in a stronger financial position than we started – this was no easy feat. It means we are going from strength to strength as we can continue our work in pursuit of better water management both in Australia and with our partners overseas and that is what eWater is all about.

This year, like many other water advocating organisations in Australia and around the world, we have seen some challenges, all of which we can address through strong cooperation, collaboration, and commitment.

For the wider water industry first, the all-encompassing challenge is how do we come to grips with our changing climate – preparing for and dealing with the increased variability, the bigger floods and the longer droughts, the higher temperatures and higher sea-levels, and less rainfall in many areas. That, combined with continued population growth and changing demographics, including expanding cities, puts tremendous pressure on water security for the environment, for industry and for communities. These all-impact people’s lives and livelihoods.

At the same time, there are imperatives to better manage available water supplies more efficiently and get the best outcomes from water for the environment, while recognising the importance of meeting cultural water provisions and the needs and aspirations of First Nations people in water management.

And concerns continue to grow about threats to water quality and the distressing impacts of poor water quality on people and the environment.

So, there is still a lot to do to have an efficient and sustainable water industry. It continues to be important to invest in science and knowledge, skills and capacity and decision-support tools, to exercise leadership and good governance and to support initiatives like a refreshed National Water Initiative and overseas aid programs that seek climate resilience, poverty reduction and equity of opportunity.

All the above actually present tremendous opportunities for eWater Group.

The challenge is to make those opportunities a continuing integral part of our business by way of partnerships, investments, commitments, and innovation.

That is why, for example, eWater Group is determined to modernise eWater Source as the National Hydrological Modelling Platform that is fit-for-purpose for 2030 and beyond. Not only is eWater Source a focus, but we are also looking to update the science underpinning the eWater MUSIC modelling platform, to further improve information and decisions about water sensitive urban design and improved water quality in urban settings.

That is also why eWater Group is keen to deliver phase 3 of the Australian Water Partnership, building on the tremendous achievements of the first two phases managed by eWater. And we also would like to continue our great work in the Mekong, including with the Mekong River Commission, which has been a valuable partnership over many years.

I think it is fair to say that we all desire greater certainty in these uncertain times. eWater Group can provide the strategies, the skills, and the tools to help with that.




David Dreverman steps down as Director, eWater Limited Board

David Dreverman steps down as Director, eWater Limited Board, after 15 years of service and support to eWater Group.

eWater Limited Board Independent Director David Dreverman announced today at the Annual General Meeting his decision to step down after 15 years of service and support to eWater and its goals.

eWater Group and the eWater Limited Board commended David for his sound advice and support – from eWater’s early beginnings as a Cooperative Research Centre to the Australian and world-leading organisation that it is today.

David brought more than 40 years of experience and understanding of the water sector in Australia and internationally to the eWater Limited Board and the wider organisation, including an Executive Director of River Management at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and the Murray Darling Basin Commission.

Prior to these roles, David worked as a consultant in the engineering industry; with SMEC, Hydro Electric Commission, Tasmania and Australian Power and Water.

Michael Wilson, Group CEO, eWater Group, said, “David’s contribution to ensuring better and more sustainable and equitable water management outcomes in Australia – and his contribution to eWater in particular – has been extraordinary.

“It has been a privilege to have had the benefit of David’s wisdom and counsel for so long, and the legacy he leaves to eWater Group’s Australian and international work is immeasurable.

“We thank David for his energy, diligence, and all-embracing passion for water management across the globe.”

Greg Claydon PSM, Chair, eWater Limited Board, said, “I wish to acknowledge David’s wonderful contribution to eWater, and indeed water resource management in Australia and internationally, over many years. I thank him very much for his wise counsel, deep knowledge, and very helpful insights, always aimed at achieving better outcomes.”

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 Shreya Gyawali, Australian Water Partnerships

Shreya Gyawali, Senior Program Officer, Australian Water Partnerships

“Our work directly impacts people’s lives. Knowing that my day-to-day contributions at work could positively influence someone’s life is a significant motivator to keep going.”

It is this kind of thinking that makes eWater Group an exceptional place to work. Our people – like Shreya Gyawali – bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organisation but it is the willingness to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people and their communities that is truly exceptional.

We are an organisation dedicated to delivering water management expertise and tools in Australia and internationally through our three divisions – the Australian Water Partnership, eWater Solutions, and Mekong Water Solutions.

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) is a key part of Australia’s support for sustainable water resources management in South Asia, the Mekong region, and the Pacific. Working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AWP supports a range of activities that draw on Australian expertise to respond to assistance from our international partners and governments.

In her role as AWP’s Senior Program Officer, Shreya has a whole raft of responsibilities including managing and engaging on international and national events for AWP but just as important, if not more, leading the Gender, Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (or GEDSI) portfolio within AWP.

Shreya works with the AWP program team to better integrate GEDSI across all activities, as well as lead on internal policy reviews and implementation processes. It is one of our critical roles within AWP.

“AWP’s commitment to advancing Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) in partnership with different organisations in Australia and overseas is a significant reason of why I work at AWP.”

Water has always played a big role in Shreya’s life. Having worked in the development sector in her hometown of Kathmandu, Nepal, prior to moving to Australia to complete her Master’s in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University Shreya participated in field visits to see first-hand the impacts of water stress on women and girls.

“Issues like water insecurity disproportionately impacts women and girls. It impacts their education, hygiene, and safety, and as they usually have the responsibility of fetching water- also impacts their time. These issues are embedded within cultural contexts and social norms and become further exacerbated in the face of climate change as well as in crisis scenarios.

“Water issues are personal issues for women and girls. Creating change in this space will mean having the ability to influence people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour – which is what I would like to do, and being in this sector is a great platform to meet like-minded people and create momentum for that change.”

Now working at AWP for nearly two years, Shreya has represented AWP at major national and international events, including SIWI World Water Week 2022 in Stockholm where she collaborated with water leaders from Australia and the region to share knowledge and successes.  She is on her own leadership journey as one of AWP’s Young Water Professionals and brings her passion and unique perspective to her work every day. 

“Being a Nepali woman with my own cultural experiences and having seen the lived realities of people back home, I am aspiring to be a change agent and champion for people in my community, and I see this as a step towards making that happen.”

“There is a crucial need to recognise and accept the different forms of knowledge that inform solutions to the challenges of climate change; cultural, Indigenous, technical, and local knowledge and find ways to better integrate them together.”

It is this commitment to changing how we engage with communities, develop policies and programs on water management, and think more strategically about our water resources, which remains central to the work of AWP and eWater Group.

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.




National Science Week 2023

Celebrating Australian science and technology and the power of people

The sustainable management of water is critical for all life on earth and the wellbeing of our society. As the driest inhabited continent on earth, Australia is well-placed to understand the complexity of protecting and managing our water resources and has become an internationally recognised leader in water policy and management.

We are marking National Science Week 2023 by acknowledging and celebrating the people and science behind the work we do at eWater Group.

We are committed to the pursuit of sustainable management of water resources through the development and sharing of best practices, capabilities, and knowledge of Australian water expertise, nationally and internationally.

Our people are hydrologists, academics, software developers, sales and project managers public policy and water industry experts and innovators who are all here to find water management solutions for the benefit of all people and their communities.

We develop and deliver Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform on behalf of all Australian governments through eWater Solutions; and deliver international development programs on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including through the Australian Water Partnership and Mekong Water Solutions.

We provide creative, science-based, and trusted water management expertise, products and services for people, communities, livelihoods, and environment impacted by many factors, including climate change.

From our beginnings as a Cooperative Research Centre Program to the organisation we are today; eWater Group has evolved to occupy a unique place in Australia’s water management and international cooperation ecosystem, including custodianship of the eWater Source platform.  

eWater Source supports integrated planning, operations, and governance from urban to catchment to river basin scales including taking human and ecological influences into account. It accommodates diverse climatic, geographic, water policy and governance settings for both Australian and international climatic conditions. 

eWater Source is the largest scientific software in use by the Australian Government, blending science insights with technological innovation to maintain the National Hydrological Modelling Platform.

Our world-class platform translates water-science outcomes into software to enable all Australian governments and our partners to harness data-derived insights and use scientific outputs in their decision making.

eWater Source has been applied extensively in a wide range of real-world water use situations, both in Australia and internationally, supporting the management of rivers in Australia, the Mekong region, across South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Alongside eWater Source, we also have eWater MUSIC and Urban Developer models which are designed to manage the interaction between various water supply systems as well as capture all water cycle components including rainfall and stormwater runoff, potable water, and the recycling / reuse of wastewater. These tools enable robust and reliable decision-making for secure urban water supplies.

To achieve positive outcomes across all sectors – food security, energy security, climate resilience, biodiversity and ecosystem health, and disaster management – water security is paramount. And as climate change accelerates the challenges, international cooperation to share learning is increasingly important.

A key part of Australia’s support for climate resilient water management in South-East Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific, is through our work within the Australian Water Partnership, which works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and over 200 Australian partners across the public and private sectors.

The Australian Water Partnership supports a range of activities that draw on Australian expertise to respond to assistance from our international partners and governments, including on river basins, irrigation modernisation, integrated urban water management and environmental water.

This week gives cause for us to acknowledge this collective commitment as an organisation, and individuals, to finding water management solutions which is why we want to acknowledge and celebrate National Science Week.

As the impacts of climate change and other environmental factors continue to grow and exacerbate water security, eWater Group is best placed to provide support, program delivery and training for the protection of our most precious resource. 

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.




A recap on MODSIM 2023

With MODSIM 2023 now done, we are taking the opportunity to recap our time at this critical conference and how important it is for modellers from a diverse range of fields to showcase the latest science and technology and how it is applied by the global water modelling and community.

Last month, Darwin played host to the 25th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation – otherwise known as MODSIM – where modellers from across Australia descended on the balmy city to talk about water modelling, including the use of emerging technologies to improve modelling practice and the use of modelling to find new solutions to solve the growing impact of climate change in our waterways and environment.

eWater Group Hydrologists, Dr Jin Wang and Sudeep Nair represented our organisation at MODSIM, where we were a sponsor, to facilitate sessions related to hydrological modelling and showcase the new functionalities of Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source, and how it helps water managers to meet the changing needs in water resources management.

Sudeep said “it was great to see how various users unravel the many facets of eWater Source and understand how it is helping the users to achieve their objectives. We heard their experiences and feedback, which helped us to understand the strength of Source as a hydrological modelling tool and areas for potential enhancement.”

“MODSIM was also a great opportunity for us [hydrologists] to introduce eWater Source to a wider audience who were not so familiar with the tool, and a chance to update ourselves on the latest trends and techniques in water and environmental modelling.”

One of the more interesting observations from our hydrologists was from other presenters at the conference who demonstrated the versatility and agility of Source as a hydrological modelling tool and how modellers were using it for bespoke applications.

“One of the many advantages of eWater Source is that it can handle both water quantity and quality aspects and has many functionalities specific for Australian purposes,” Sudeep said.

With any science-based software and technology tools, there is also room for improvements in areas such as stability, accuracy, and performance improvements, and eWater Group is diligent in improving our software platforms to enable our owners, partners and water experts have an enriched user experience.

For our hydrologists, Dr Wang and Sudeep Nair, MODSIM provided a great back drop to generate interest and discussion on hydrologically modelling methods in general and eWater Source in particular.

Both Sudeep and Dr Wang co-presented a session with Rachael Holden from Power and Water Cooperation: Providing Water for All: Modelling to Improve Water Security for Communities, the Environment and Industry, which helped spearhead conversations on the impact of water modelling to inform decision-makers and the role of eWater Source.

To read the full abstract from Sudeep Nair > https://lnkd.in/eDzNiybjhttps://ewater.org.au/3443-2/ and for Samira Azadi (who was unfortunately a last-minute cancellation) > https://ewater.org.au/3443-2/.

Conferences like MODSIM play a significant role in the water space. It is an avenue for learning, networking, and informing of the latest research and modelling outcomes in Australia and beyond; and an important opportunity for eWater Group and our people to showcase who we are and what we are doing to address the new challenges in the hydrological modelling realm.

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 Rohan Kent, Australian Water Partnership

Our people who represent our organisation are exceptional. Our people bring years – in many cases decades – of experience from a diverse range of industries, including international development, science and technology, academia, public policy, project management, sales, and more.

We are an organisation dedicated to delivering water management expertise and tools in Australia and internationally through our three divisions – the Australian Water Partnership, eWater Solutions, and Mekong Water Solutions.

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) is a key part of Australia’s support for sustainable water resources management in South Asia, the Mekong region, and the Pacific. Working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AWP supports a range of activities that draw on Australian expertise to respond to assistance from our international partners and governments.

As the AWP Program Lead, Rohan Kent plays a critical role in our international program of activities, overseeing a diverse range of projects across the Indo-Pacific in river basin and water resources planning, urban and rural water, agriculture, flood and drought management, and climate resilience.

Prior to joining AWP in 2021, Rohan worked across several sectors, including health, education, humanitarian and international development, and Indigenous community programs, including Save The Children Australia as its Deputy Humanitarian Director, and at the Australian Civil-Military Centre in its Concepts and Capabilities Unit.

“Most of my career has been based around working with vulnerable communities through international development and a rights-based programming lens. Within these roles, I have worked closely with multiple stakeholders – many with differing or competing perspectives. This has helped me not only appreciate the need to take time to design projects carefully so there is not only a focus on sustainable outcomes but also ensure they are delivered in an efficient and effective way.”

“With any role or project, I believe effective communication cannot be underestimated; this helps to promote ownership and create a supportive environment around the project. And of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention how important accountability is within the project management cycle and how it must be encouraged so responsibility for actions is ensured.”

In addition, Rohan has worked across several development and disaster settings, implementing integrated programs in the protection, WASH, food security and livelihoods, and health sectors in the Philippines, Fiji, Pakistan, Iraq, and South Sudan.

While bringing decades of experience to AWP and its partners is nothing short of invaluable, it is Rohan’s understanding of the development sector, together with his compassion for the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, that sets Rohan apart from others.

“Water security is a challenge that impacts us all. It’s not just about the ability to provide for industrial, agricultural, recreational, energy, and domestic needs. While these are important, we also need to consider the integrity and sustainability of our surrounding ecosystems.”

“It’s important that as Australians we continue to be involved in discussions around water security if we want Australia – and our neighbours – to enjoy continued sustainable development, the preservation of the environmental, and poverty reduction.”

“After all, as Australia, we have much to contribute given we have the privilege of having the oldest, continuing living culture in the world, who can share their knowledge and learnings on caring for water and waterways and promoting better water security.”

It is this commitment to finding solutions to real-world challenges facing communities impacted by climate change, access to water supply, and quality, that drives Rohan and his team to do more. 

“Continuing the conversation doesn’t always mean we are the ones talking. Being present is important but so is acting with humility and patience in this space when we are engaging in conversation. My experience across the world in the aid and development sector has taught me to focus on ‘listening’ as well as to talk at the appropriate time.”

“We must listen to what rights holders and duty bearers’ needs are and work with them in partnership to drive innovative solutions and not just impose what we think they need upon them, no matter how good we think our solutions might be.”

“I remember listening to representatives from the Kaurna people at this year’s AWP Partners Workshop. They spoke of the need for people to take more time to listen to what the environment around us is saying. Indigenous knowledge is a critical source of water science.  We need to recognise its value, and the ways that we can both share and learn from in this space.”

It is this level of commitment by Rohan to the vision and mission of AWP, and the wider eWater Group, that enables our organisation to have an indelible impact on the lives of people and their communities within Australia and internationally.

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.




eWater Group celebrates 10 years.

eWater Group celebrates 10 years of water expertise in Australia and internationally

This year marks ten years of eWater Group, and we recently took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our achievements so far and the challenges that we have faced as an organisation over the past decade.

Representatives from across Federal, State, and Territory governments, the private sector, research, and international institutions, recently came together at a special event in Canberra to celebrate eWater Group and its divisions, and our work in Australia, the Mekong, and the Indo-Pacific region.

Since our inception, we have led the way in delivering water management, water security, and sustainability solutions through our expertise, knowledge, program delivery, and water modelling tools and services.

Michael Wilson, Group CEO, said the event was a great opportunity for employees, our owners, and partners to acknowledge the collective efforts by all to deliver water management expertise and tools to meet both the Australian and international needs and the increasing pressure of climate change on our environment.

“I thank our owners and partners for the support and collaboration that have shown eWater Group over the past ten years and now into the future. With this support, our organisation will continue to grow and reinforces Australia as a leader in water management, water security, and sustainability, here and internationally.”

While we acknowledge our achievements over the past decade, we are now looking ahead to the future as eWater Group, and its divisions continue to deliver new programs as well as strengthen and create new partnerships in Australia and internationally.




Sharing Australian water expertise, globally

Our Hydrology team recently joined experts in the Mekong region for a regional training modelling tools program.

Sharing best practices, capabilities, and knowledge of Australian water expertise globally is our mission at eWater Group.

Our people – across eWater Solutions, the Australian Water Partnership, and Mekong Water Solutions – work incredibly hard in the pursuit of sustainable management of water resources.

Members of our Hydrology team – Juanita Moolman, Paradis Someth, Samira Azadi, and Sudeep Nair – recently joined experts from six Mekong countries to run a regional training modelling tools program as part of a joint study.

The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) are conducting a joint study on the changing hydrological conditions of the Lower Mekong River Basin. The study aims to develop adaption strategies that address the flooding and drought risks caused by climate change across the river basin.

Paradis Someth, Principal Hydrologist, eWater Group, said “As part of the study, our eWater Group Hydrology Team joined by water modelling experts from across the Mekong region to provide hands-on training and expertise on using, eWater Source to gain a better understanding of this tool and how it can help in impact assessment.”

“eWater Group 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 shaping 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 river basin monitoring, assessment, data and information sharing, and dialogue and cooperation.”

Since 2013, eWater Group has supported the 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.

To learn more about our partnership with the Mekong River Commission read the full story > https://ewater.org.au/ewater-group-and-its-partnership-with-mekong-river-commission/

For more information eWater Source > https://ewater.org.au/products/ewater-source/

Reach out to our team for more > https://ewater.org.au/contact-us/  




Meet Samira Azadi, Hydrologist

Understanding the movement of water in rivers, lakes, dams, and seas, together with the effects of climate change on an increasingly changing environment requires a wealth of knowledge… and a Master’s or other higher degree can help.

Meet Samira Azadi, one of our hydrologists with a Masters in Water Engineering from Iran’s Shiraz University and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Civil Engineering – Water and Environmental – from the University of Newcastle. As an experienced Water and Environmental Engineer, Samira plays a key role in supporting our National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source.

After completing her MPhil, Samira decided to make Australia her home and moved to Canberra to join eWater Group in 2021 and has been making her mark ever since.

“I wanted to live in Australia because I found Australians are very friendly and welcoming. It feels like a big diverse community. I love that we love our jobs, but it is part of what we do, not everything we do. There is so much more to explore.”  

For Samira, working as an eWater Group Hydrologist, enables her to continue her passion for hydrology and eco-hydrologic modelling, and offering support and advice to our partners across each state and territory to deliver innovative solutions to support sustainable water for cities and communities across Australia and the world.

“I love my job. I am passionate about what I do. And if I want to describe eWater in only one word I would say eWater is a dynamic organisation.”

“I am able to learn new things every day, and share my knowledge and experience with my colleagues, including fellow hydrologists and developers, but also support our partners to deliver water solutions for their communities.”

“My fellow hydrologists empower me and create opportunities for me to learn so I can be the best at my role. I love that my team is so supportive.”  

For Samira, working as an eWater Group Hydrologist, enables her to continue her passion for hydrology and eco-hydrologic modelling, and offering support and advice to our partners across each state and territory to deliver innovative solutions to support sustainable water for cities and communities across Australia and the world.

“I think eWater Source is an incredible tool. Being the national hydrological platform means that everyone is getting consistent data and information to make informed decisions about hydrology, catchments, and river systems.”

“From the moment that the first raindrop comes from the sky to where it lands and how it seeps through the soil, we can show our partners this critical information through dynamic data. This helps them make the right decisions regarding how our water resources are used and where.”

Source helps water experts with all climates and environments and is adaptable and readily updated to include new policy, data, knowledge, and management approaches. It offers the flexibility and ability to link to new and existing models and other information systems; and has been built in partnership with governments, industry, and research organisations.

For Samira the critical issue facing water sustainability and hydrology is data, and ensuring we continue to have the right data with real-time information for our partners and clients. By continuing to invest in Source, we can deliver the best information available to make the right decisions to enhance our ability to manage water sustainability, scarcity, and resilience.

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.




Climate change is increasing water scarcity

Climate change is increasing water scarcity

by Damien Pearson, General Manager, eWater Solutions

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of this century. 

Water is the primary expression of the effects climate change has on humanity and the environment manifesting itself through droughts, floods, water stress, and declining water quality. In many countries reliable supplies of freshwater are becoming scarce, undermining economic growth, increasing poverty, placing vulnerable people at risk and further disadvantage, and damaging the environment on which all life depends. The “livelihood crises” caused by the climate crisis have been identified by the World Economic Forum as “one of the most potentially severe risks over the next decade.” [i]

Effective management of water resources in the face of changing climate is essential to achieving all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agreed by all nations in 2015. 

How Australia can make a difference

As the driest inhabited continent on earth, Australia has become an internationally recognized leader in water policy and management.

Our sought-after expertise includes advice on transparent water allocation systems, efficient irrigation practices, and technologies, drought mitigation measures, allocation of environmental water flows, as well as reforms in urban water and sanitation. 

Importantly in the context of climate change, Australia’s reforms include an explicit focus on economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.[i] However, Australia is a continent with many different climate zones and many different water use profiles.[ii] 

Consequently, Australian states and territories have had to develop water governance frameworks appropriate to their climate and environmental contexts while maintaining content and coherence with national plans and agreements. One size does not fit all.

eWater Source, Australia’s agreed National Hydrological Modelling Platform (NHMP), supports integrated planning, operations, and governance from urban to catchment to river basin scales including taking human and ecological influences into account. Source accommodates diverse climatic, geographic, water policy and governance settings for both Australian and international climatic conditions. 

Our platform integrates water resource assessment and policy, to produce water accounts and manage rivers, and share water according to allocations and agreements.

eWater Source has become an important tool for understanding water supply and demand, managing allocations between users, and delivering water when and where it is needed.

Designed to be adaptive and readily customized to meet local or specific needs, eWater Source is underpinned by world-class science and technical innovation, and assists in the following broad areas:

  • Assessing climate change impacts on water availability and demand over time
  • Establishing effective water policies, regulatory systems, and institutions to enable infrastructure investments (governance policies and systems)
  • Collecting and managing water data and developing water information systems
  • Enabling water allocations and management of river basins and urban water supply

eWater Source has been applied and validated extensively in a wide range of real-world water use situations, both in Australia and internationally, supporting the management of rivers in Australia, the Mekong region, across South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Growing urban demand

Our world is rapidly becoming more urbanized. In 2018, 55 percent of the world’s population was living in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 percent by 2050. Projections show that urbanisation, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90 per cent of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa, according to United Nations data set[1].

With a growing focus on meeting a more spatially concentrated water demand, planners require tools to understand their water supply and drainage options and constraints, along with means to assess alternative scenarios to manage these. Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) seeks to blend traditional rainfall-dependent and alternative water supplies (such as recycled water, and rainwater tanks) to enhance water security.

To understand this blend of supplies and potential trade-offs, eWater MUSIC and Urban Developer models are designed to manage the interaction between various water supply systems as well as capture all water cycle components including rainfall and stormwater runoff, potable water, and the recycling / reuse of wastewater. These tools enable robust and reliable decision-making for secure urban water supplies.

Climate Change is exacerbating the water scarcity crisis through changing weather patterns and increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.  The water challenge has become “too much, too little, or too polluted”.

Climate change adaptation primarily demands climate-resilient water management and eWater is ready to share its experience and tools to assist countries facing persistent poverty and disadvantage resulting from the impacts of climate-driven water scarcity. 

eWater Group is jointly established and owned by the Australian Federal and all State and Territory governments to maintain and further develop Australia’s internationally respected water modelling tools, and to provide support, program delivery, and training domestically and internationally. 


[1] 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN | UN DESA | United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs,


[i] Aither 2022 Governance as Infrastructure for Water Security.

https://aither.com.au/governance-as-infrastructure-2/

[ii] Productivity Commission, National Water Reform 2020, Inquiry Report. p68




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 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.”




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.




eWater Limited Board elects new chair and board members

eWater Group Board of Directors 2022

Our recent Annual General Meeting marked a great opportunity for our Board and people to come together to share and celebrate our achievements in 2022.

This year, we farewelled our former chairman, Don Blackmore AM, who was chair since the formation of eWater in 2005. Don made an incredible contribution to Australian water management through various roles including Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, and Deputy Chair of Land and Water Australia.

The AGM also marked new beginnings with the election of a new chair, Greg Claydon PSM, and two new Independent Directors, Kathryn Silvester, and Dr Grace Mitchell. They join our ongoing Directors – Murray Rankin, Bob McMullan, David Dreverman, Deb Brown, Mitchell Isaacs, and Andrew Reynolds on an expanded Board.

Each of our Directors brings a diverse range of skills and experience to our organisation including water policy and management, commercialisation of Australian technology, international development, research and development, public policy, governance, and strategic planning.

Greg Claydon, Chair, and Independent Director

Greg has extensive experience within the water industry as well as natural resources management, both in Australia and internationally. He has been recognised at state, national, and international levels for his work in water and associated national resources reforms, in whole of river basins planning and management, and in integrated urban water management. Greg has held many board memberships including the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, International Water Centre, COAG Water Reform Committee.

Dr Grace Mitchell, New Independent Director

Grace brings a wealth of knowledge to the eWater Limited Board including leading numerous high-profile, complex, multi-disciplinary initiatives that have required significant stakeholder engagement and negotiation within and between state and federal governments. With a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Monash University, Dr Mitchell has a proven track record in delivering complex policy initiatives and program outcomes, which will benefit the eWater Limited Board and eWater’s government owners, customers, stakeholders, and clients.

Kathryn Silvester, New Independent Director

Kathryn brings extensive knowledge and experience to the eWater Board including her work at the Sydney Water Corporation as Resilience and Climate Changer Adaptation Manager. Kathryn is a passionate water professional and has been a member of the International Water Association and Australia Water Association strategic councils, providing advice to their Boards of Directors.

Murray Rankin, Re-elected Independent Director

Murray is a director and chair of numerous boards of innovative Australian companies as well as serve on several government boards as a technology adviser. He has won numerous national business awards including the Telstra Small Business of The Year. He is an occasional lecturer in business strategy at the Australian National University, Macquarie University and Melbourne Business School.

David Dreverman, Independent Director

David has held many distinguished roles over his extensive career, including Executive Director, River Management, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and General Manager, River Murray Water of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. He has also worked as a consultant in the engineering industry; with SMEC, Hydro Electric Commission Tasmania and Australian Power and Water. David has been involved with large dam and hydropower projects, both in Australia and overseas for more than forty years.

Bob McMullan, Independent Director

Bob has held several ministerial positions in the federal government over his career, including Minister for the Arts, Minister for Trade, and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance.  He represented the Australian Capital Territory in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Since leaving parliament, Bob has been involved in a range of activities, with a focus on international development, including Director of the ANU Crawford Leadership Forum, Board Member for the Crawford Fund and Foundation for Development Cooperation and as Australian Executive/Alternate Director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Mitchell Isaacs, Owner-nominated Director

Mitchell Isaacs has worked in water related roles in the NSW Government since 2009 and from November 2020 as the Chief Knowledge Officer, Water Group, in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Prior to joining the NSW Government, Mitchell worked as a research scientist in Australia and Japan, and as a project management advisor to the Cambodian Government’s Fisheries Administration.

Deb Brown, Owner-nominated Director

Deb Brown is the Executive Director, Catchment Waterways Cities and Towns in the Water and Catchments Group of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and a trusted and respected water leader with over 20 years’ experience within the public sector. Over her career, Deb has specialised in urban water management and conservation, environment, and river health improvement, and more recently in improving Traditional Owner inclusion in water management.

Andrew Reynolds, Owner-nominated Director

Andrew Reynolds has more than 24 years’ experience in the water industry, managing major water supply infrastructure, as well as extensive knowledge in the fields of engineering project management, dam safety and construction management. Andrew is the Executive Director, River Management at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Prior to that role, Andrew held various roles with Goulburn-Murray Water which included management of the Headworks business responsible for 16 large dams and associated infrastructure, delivery of several major dam safety upgrade projects, and leading the business’ engineering and scientific resources.

eWater Group and its people are happy to welcome new and continuing members of the eWater Limited Board to vital strategic conversations about Australia’s and the globe’s water future.





Supporting Queensland’s next generation of water modellers

The Queensland Water Modelling Network (QWMN) aims to improve the state’s capacity to model its surface water and groundwater resources and improve the quality of it’s models. 

Established by the Queensland Government in 2017, the QWMN provides tools, information and collaborative platforms to support best-practice use of water models and the uptake of their results by policy makers and natural resource managers. The QWMN encourages engagement between modellers, researchers, policy makers and resource managers.

A key focus of the QWMN is building Queensland water sector capability through its mentoring program. The program partners experienced modellers with university undergraduate students and young water professionals interested in water modelling, it The aims to:

  • Grow the size and capabilities of the Queensland water modelling workforce by building a pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic graduates who want to pursue water modelling careers in Queensland.
  • Expose students to ‘real world’ water policy issues so that they develop applied knowledge and become enthused about the work of water modellers.
  • Develop undergraduate student critical analysis and systemic understanding of how the outputs from water models are and can be used.

The program has two components. Firstly, students undertake online water model training and tutorials to become familiar with the relevant models and tools. Students then undertake a ‘real world’ modelling challenge, supported by mentors who are experienced Queensland Government modellers.  

eWater is an active supporter of the mentoring program, providing access to the full version of Source, training materials and technical support for participants.

Phase 1 of the program has been successfully completed by students from Griffith University, James Cook University, University of South Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and University of Queensland and a young professional within the Queensland Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME).

Students used eWater Source to understand how water quality targets are set for the Great Barrier Reef catchments. The Cattle Creek sub catchment within the Mackay/Whitsunday region used in the challenge. Through the project, participants both learn how to use Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, eWater Source and are exposed the the challenges faced by both government and industry to meet the Great Barrier Reef water quality targets.

The program has since been extended to students at the universities of Central Queensland and the Sunshine Coast in 2020-21. The QWMN is also working to engage modelling experts from the private sector.

More about the QWMN

More about eWater Source and managing the Great Barrier Reef




Paddock to Reef – Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program

Targeting investment to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

What is the Paddock to Reef program?

The Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (Paddock to Reef program) started in 2009 as a joint initiative of the Australian and Queensland governments to report on water quality improvement resulting from investment in improved land management practices. Improving the quality of water leaving properties by reducing pollutant run-off is critical to build the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The program brings together industry bodies, government agencies, natural resource management bodies, landholders and research organisations.

The program provides a framework for evaluating and reporting progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets. It integrates monitoring and modelling information on management practices, catchment indicators, catchment loads and the health of the Reef at the paddock, sub-catchment, catchment, regional and whole GBR scales (image below). The program evaluates management practice adoption, management practice effectiveness (in terms of water quality benefits and economic outcomes), catchment condition, pollutant run-off and marine condition.

Focus areas for the Paddock to Reef program

How does Source support the program?

The catchment modelling for the program is based on the Source platform, with customised plug-ins developed by the Queensland Government to provide additional water quality functionality. A range of other purpose-built data collection and reporting tools have also been built to support the program. These include interactive maps to show pollutant generation rates and priority investment areas.

The models are primarily used to report on annual progress towards the reef water quality targets as a result of investment in improved land management practices. Model outputs are also used to determine priority areas for investment and to assess possible outcomes from different scenarios such as different rates of adoption of improved practices. The catchment models also provide inputs for the marine models.

The Paddock to the Reef program helps manage the impacts of landuse on the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef, Qld
(credit: WITTE-ART.com / Adobe Stock)

Information sharing

Many of the actions required to achieve the water quality targets need to be undertaken by farmers and other land managers. To support greater uptake of the required actions, the Paddock to Reef program has been designed to share technical information in a way that can be easily understood and used. It also incorporates the local knowledge of land managers. Program features include:

  • Multiple lines of evidence to inform progress towards the targets.
  • Technical experts are based in the regions, giving them a good understanding of the local environment, issues and the effectiveness of management actions. This also helps build relationships with local land managers.
  • Ongoing refinement of the models and other tools to incorporate new knowledge, data and methods.
  • Results are presented online through an interactive reporting system to cater for the broad range of stakeholders interested in the results from the general public to scientific experts.
  • Data is made available to support other programs, for example regional report cards and regional natural resource management body and local government investment decisions.
  • ‘Cut down’ models provide locally specific tools to assess individual projects and prioritise local investment.

Peer review, continual improvement and validation are critical elements for any modelling program. The Paddock to Reef catchment modelling program undertakes an external review every three years. The program is supported by a GBR-wide pollutant loads monitoring program which provides data to calibrate and validate the catchment models and increase confidence in the models over time.

For further information go to Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan website https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/tracking-progress

Acknowledgements

This case study was prepared in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.