Eureka Prize recognises innovative water research

Research which is helping to ensure efficient use of water in the Murrumbidgee catchment has been awarded the 2007 Eureka Prize for Water Research and Innovation.

The research, undertaken by a team from CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Charles Stuart University, is providing a model for identifying water savings and efficient water management in catchments here in Australia and overseas.

Led by Professor Shahbaz Khan, the team undertook an audit of water, nutrient and salt flows in the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally catchments, developed ways to rapidly detect channel seepage hotspots and designed a decision support system linking geographic and economic information with water flows.

Key team members include NSW DPI irrigation engineer Saud Akbar, who drew on his expertise in quantifying seepage from irrigation channels to come up with innovative ways of reducing water loss.

Mr Akbar is continuing his research into leaky irrigation systems in southern NSW through projects being undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures.

He is also focusing on improving irrigation efficiency in the Sydney metropolitan region with a view to improving water use on and off farm.

The Prize, awarded as part of the Australian Museum’s Eureka Awards at a ceremony in Sydney, is for research which made an outstanding contribution to the sustainable use and management of Australia’s water resources.