The Global Change Institute’s Sustainable Water program held the second annual UQ Water Forum on 18–19 August at GCI.
The forum sought to foster collaboration, interaction and integration of water research within and beyond The University of Queensland.
This free, two-day forum brought together more than 100 researchers each day from across the University to engage with key invited external guests on current and emerging water impact issues, and sustainable and innovative responses.
The forum included four half-day discussion sessions with short 36 'lightning' presentations within the key program themes of Water for the Environment, Water for Productive Economies, Water for Cities, and Water-resilient Communities.
The strong attendance and positive feedback emphasised the value of this networking event that boosted familiarity of researchers with their colleagues’ work, and showcased some exciting initiatives and deep knowledge on water management, behaviours and knowledge around water consumption, and critical needs for water sanitation and hygiene.
A key highlight was the VIP Water Breakfast chaired by GCI Sustainable Water Program Director Associate Professor Eva Abal that featured a discussion panel with input from Queensland Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett, SEQWater Board Member, Adjunct Prof. Leith Boully and Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Healthy Waterways, Prof. Paul Greenfield.
Each guest spoke about the future of water in Queensland from a different perspective. This included a review of stewardship needs and options, funding and visions, and the current ‘state of play’.
The key messages they shared were the importance of communication to non-scientists – including the ‘translation’ of research; the power of partnerships with a clear shared visions; and the importance of a ‘whole of system’ understanding of water resources where social, economic and environmental aspects are considered to ensure a water secure future.
The abstracts of the lightning presentations are available here, and will soon be joined by the slides.
Above: The VIP Water Breakfast included (L-R) GCI Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, GCI Sustainable Water Program Director Associate Professor Eva Abal, Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Healthy Waterways, Prof. Paul Greenfield, SEQWater Board Member Adjunct Prof. Leith Boully, and Queensland Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett.