Essential Water webinars

The Essential Water webinars seek to to introduce water science and management.  They are designed for a broad audience, including those involved in water policy or management with limited or no technical expertise, those who wish to expand their knowledge to areas outside their expertise, young water professionals and members of the community wishing to understand water policy and decision making. 

These webinars are an introductory update on current thinking and practice on water management issues. 

Hydrology for Beginners – An introduction to water management


Juanita Moolman is a Hydrologist and Spatial Scientist with 27 years’ experience in the water resources sector.  Twenty-four of those years was in the South African Department of Water Affairs.

Dr Geoff Adams an experienced hydrologist, water system modeller, model developer, water system operator and water system manager with over 30 years experience in the field.

Groundwater – lifting the veil on the unseen

Groundwater forms the backbone of water security and climate resilience across the world. With climate change intensifying water-related weather extremes, and further stress on limited water resources from population growth, groundwater is set to become more important for adaptation while also coming under increasing pressure. The bright side of this vast challenge is that with a better understanding of the resource and investments in its proper management, rural and urban populations can continue to harness the unmatched benefits of this resource long into the future.

This session will outline the different types of groundwater resources, the importance of protecting and managing groundwater and the challenges is managing an unseen yet valuable resource.


Dr S.A. Prathapar is groundwater specialist with 40 years experience in water resource management in Australia and overseas.  Until last year, Prathapar was seconded to the Asian Development Bank by the Australian Water Partnership as Groundwater Specialist.

Irrigation what is it’s future in a water scarce world?

Agriculture uses the major share (around 70%) of global freshwater resources.  But as demand for water and water scarcity increases, irrigation in agriculture is being questioned.  In many regions of the world, irrigation for food production is used inefficiently, leading to environmental degradation, overuse of groundwater, reduced river flows, and pollution.

Is irrigation part of the problem or part of the solution to food security?  What happens to the land if there is too much irrigation?  How can water use efficiency in irrigation be increased and is this the same as increased irrigation productivity?  What has Australia learnt from irrigating dry lands?  Can we offer countries facing water scarcity any helpful advice on efficient use of water in irrigation?  How has Australian irrigation technology assisted in Asia?

This webinar is an opportunity to hear from an Australian irrigation specialist with substantial experience in irrigation in Australia and in Asia.  There will also be an opportunity to have your questions about irrigation answered by an expert.


Tony Oakes is a founder of Rubicon Water, where his management responsibilities include Network Control implementation and international business development. Tony has 30 years of experience in water system operation and management, computer system modelling and software design and application. Tony has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Computer Simulation) from Swinburne University

Protecting water quality in urban environments

Urbanisation can lead to significant reductions in water quality. In urban areas there is an increase in behaviours that contaminate the environment. In addition to this, the large percentage of impervious surfaces in urban areas alter the hydrology, causing reduced infiltration and faster movement of water through the urban environment. These two factors mean that large loads of pollutants can be transported through urban waterways and to receiving waters. These processes have a negative effect on water quality, both in the urban environment and in receiving waters.

Increases in nutrient inputs to urban waterways are of particular concern. The increases in nutrient loads in urban areas can lead to eutrophication of receiving waters. Harmful cyanobacteria blooms resulting from eutrophication of urban lakes has been a significant worldwide problem for some time. Two webinars will be presented that discuss water quality in urban area and present a case study on nutrient contamination on urban waterways.

In this two part webinar series we look at the drivers behind nutrient contamination in urban waterways and discuss a case study showing their real world application.


Prof Fiona Dyer – Fiona is a Professor with the Centre for Applied Water Science at the University of Canberra. She is interested in understanding the way freshwater systems respond to natural and anthropogenic variations in flow with a view to informing decision making in water resource management.  Her research draw on a background in chemistry, hydrology, and fluvial geomorphology to investigate water quality and ecological responses to water management in both urban and regional settings. She currently leads a major research project investigating nutrient and algal dynamics in urban stormwater systems for the ACT Government. 

Dr Rodney Ubrihien – Rodney is a water scientist whose research focusses on the effects of contamination on aquatic environments. His research encompasses investigating the source of chemical contaminants, the fate of these chemicals in the environment and the effect of these chemicals on aquatic biota. Recent research has focused on the pollutants in urban stormwater and the eutrophication of urban lakes.