Representatives from the Global Change Institute led a team of UQ water research experts to Argentina and Uruguay in late November to establish a collaborative research partnership for sustainable water management.
The five UQ experts visited Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Montevideo in Uruguay, to share their research and experiences in sustainable mining and water wastewater management, watershed management, governance and partnerships and community engagement and corporate social responsibility.
Delegation leader, GCI Sustainable Water Program Director Associate Professor Eva Abal said Argentina was a potential partner for the UQ research expertise.
"The province of Mendoza in Argentina is very interested in reducing impacts of mining on water resources, including groundwater," Dr Abal said.
"In Buenos Aires and Montevideo, there are great opportunities to support the city to improve the surrounding catchment.
“These are similar to past challenges in Australia with the rivers of south-west Queensland, where UQ played an integral role in developing the Health Waterways Partnership with government, universities and industry.
“Twenty years on, Moreton Bay water resources are cleaner and safer – and we look forward to sharing this experience and structure with other regions."
In Mendoza, the delegation visited the University of Cuyo, the Ministry of Energy and the General Directorate of Irrigation. In Buenos Aires they visited the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MINCYT), irrigation authorities, and the National University of Cuyo (UNCUYO).
In Uruguay, the delegation was hosted by the Ministries of Mining and Environment, and met the Minister for Mining, Industry and Energy.
The Australian Embassy in Buenos Aires, which has jurisdiction for Argentina and Uruguay, organised meetings with a range of university, industry and government stakeholders to maximise Australian linkages of knowledge and expertise into the region.
"We appreciated the warm welcome we received in Argentina from the many organisations that hosted us – government, universities and industry," Dr Abal said.
“After our week in Latin America, we hope to continue this partnership through collaborations to improve water management in Argentina, while maintaining productive mining, agriculture and other industries."
- Dr Sue Vink (UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute), sustainable mining and water
- Dr Stephan Tait, (UQ Advanced Water Management Centre), wastewater management
- Associate Professor Eva Abal (Global Change Institute), watershed management
- Professor Helen Ross (UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences), governance and partnerships
- Dr Nina Hall (Global Change Institute), community engagement and corporate social responsibility