The Water Science program at IAE (now CAWS) is a recognised national leader in water management, with profound impact and engagement with government agencies at local, state and federal levels. UC water science has combined thought leadership and reflection, empirical studies for method development and adaptive management and advances in conceptual frameworks. Internationally UC water science is a global leader in the areas of bioassessment, applied food web ecology and eco-hydrology and boasts a back catalogue of more than 1000 peer-reviewed publications.
CAWS staff have been and are key players in several monitoring programs that inform adaptive management, including the Commonwealth Department of Environment Long Term Intervention Monitoring, Environmental Watering Knowledge Research and FLOW Monitoring, Evaluation and Research programs. CAWS partners with ICON Water in monitoring of the management of the Cotter Dam, and detailed studies of responses to habitat restoration.
CAWS is particularly known for its high degree of engagement, leading to impact. This is represented to by having 12% of publications with industry co-authors (6x the Australian average) and is also particularly evident in leadership roles in major collaborations and appointment to high level advisory positions. UC has led major consortia in the water science area including the eWater CRC (2005-11), the Murray Darling Basin Futures CRN (2011-16), the Murray Darling River Science Consortium (2011-present) and major consortia as part of the Commonwealth Monitoring Evaluation and Research programs for both the Lachlan catchment ($3.65M over 3y) and the MD Basin ($7.7M over 3y). UC water science staff occupy senior advisory roles for state and Commonwealth governments.