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Published: 1 October 2012

Hubs to channel research for water-smart cities

Australia has a new national water research centre – which has a hub in Singapore and projects based in Europe – set up to improve the sustainability and future water security of Australian cities.

The CRC will focus research by top scientists on water security for Australian towns and cities.
The CRC will focus research by top scientists on water security for Australian towns and cities.
Credit: © Leonard John Matthews/flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities, headquartered at Monash University, involves more than 70 research, industry and government partners. It includes four research hubs in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Singapore, with projects in all capital cities as well as Singapore, the Netherlands and Denmark.

‘The CRC brings together disciplines as diverse as climate science, engineering, urban planning, behavioural change management, commercial and property law and community health,’ said chief executive, Professor Tony Wong.

‘It focuses on research concerned with providing water security for cities, enhancing and protecting the health of rivers, streams and wetlands, reducing the risk of flood and urban heat island effects and creating public spaces that harvest, clean and recycle water.

‘Already, 21 projects are underway involving the support of 76 partners including state government agencies, local governments, water authorities and universities.’

Professor Wong said the CRC would work with communities to facilitate local projects and provide education and training programs to support water practitioners to delivers innovative and effective urban water management solutions.

The Federal Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, said the CRC’s research is expected to ensure that planning, design and construction of urbanised landscapes are more sensitive to natural water cycles, reduce water usage, improve ecosystems, enhance wastewater treatment and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Sources: Monash University; Minister for Science and Research

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