AUS$50m for new water research alliance
Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, has launched a joint initiative between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO that will be the largest water information research project in the southern hemisphere.
The Water Information Research and Development Alliance (WIRADA) is a five-year, $50 million research partnership between Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) and CSIRO. It aims to provide a state-of-the-art, national database on Australia’s water resources.
Under the Rudd Government’s Water for the Future program, the Bureau has the role of reporting on the availability, condition and use of water resources across Australia.
Through the new WIRADA initiative, CSIRO will perform research specifically for the Bureau that will be integrated into the way its water monitoring, analysis and prediction systems are developed.
“Water for the Future has four key priorities: tackling climate change, using water wisely, supporting healthy rivers, and securing water supplies,” Senator Wong said.
“WIRADA will help us develop more robust monitoring and prediction tools to help the Bureau deliver on its new water information responsibilities.”
Senator Carr said the WIRADA initiative would have benefits for both CSIRO and the Bureau, along with the nation as a whole.
“Access to reliable water reporting and assessment at the national level will be a first for Australia, as water resource information is currently spread across hundreds of water agencies and organisations in all states and territories,” Senator Carr said.
WIRADA will assist the Bureau to deliver on new water information responsibilities, including:
- Storing and managing all of Australia’s water data;
- Reporting on the status of Australia’s water resources, patterns of water use and forecast
future water availability;
- Maintaining a comprehensive set of water accounts for the nation;
- Setting national standards for water use metering and hydrologic measurements;
- Influencing and supporting state-based investments in water monitoring and water use
metering programmes; and
- Procuring special data sets to enhance our understanding of Australia’s water resources.