In December 2004, a consortium of partners including five universities (University of South Australia, Adelaide University, Flinders University, Central Queensland University and Deakin University) together with financial support from the South Australian Government, were awarded Federal Government funding from the Department of Education, Science and Training to establish an International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management. The management company WaterEd Australia Pty Ltd was incorporated with an independent Board of Directors and governed by a Shareholders’ Agreement and Constitution.
ICE WaRM’s first initiative was developing and launching the nested Master of Water Resources Management programme delivered through partner universities. Further academic programmes followed, offering support for research students and exchange opportunities for post-graduate students with partner universities in Europe.
In line with Australia’s reputation for excellence in water resources management, ICE WaRM has gone on to develop extensive international alliances and create customised education and training courses for overseas governments and water organisations. In 2008 an environmental trust, the Water Resources Management (WaRM Trust) incorporating a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) public fund was established to provide for scholarship and visits and exchange programme for water research management scholars.
In 2013, the then South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and ICE WaRM established an agreement to support international water engagement. This initial agreement concluded in December 2017. In June 2018, the Department for Environment and Water funded ICE WaRM to support international water engagement, trade and investment including a strategic advisory role.
In early 2020, the shareholders of WaterEd voluntarily decided to cease operations and an agreement was reached for ICEWaRM to continue its international water program under new management by eWater Ltd. At the same time, eWater and the South Australian Government through the Department of Environment and Water signed a cooperation agreement for international water engagement to build on the legacy of ICE WaRM. The WaRM Trust and Public fund were also transferred from WaterEd to eWater as part of the agreement.