NCGRT update - operations commencing June 2009

Posted 17 June 2009

NCGRT logo

The new National Centre for Groundwater Research and training (NCGRT) is set to commence operations this month (June 2009).

The Commonwealth will fund the NCGRT for an initial five years. Under a new arrangement which the ARC is rolling out for Centres of Excellence, 75% of the annual funding will be paid in advance. The remaining 25% of annual funding will be paid retrospectively, subject to the NCGRT achieving its KPIs (assessed annually). The 'guaranteed' Commonwealth funding is $22,125,000, and the '25%' funding is $7,375,000. Partner cash contributions total $10,120,770. In addition, the Centre will receive an additional $15M from NCRIS, announced via the May 2009 Federal Budget. The NCRIS funding is likely to be administered by the University of New South Wales.

The successful application for funding to establish this Centre was developed by Professor Craig Simmons of Flinders University. Engaging the top 35 groundwater researchers in Australia, and representing 20 institutions in SA, the ACT, NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA, this Centre has the potential to transform the discipline and the industry. It will train the next generation of groundwater specialists in Australia. The Centre will commence operations in June 2009. The Centre's cash funding base as at this date is around $54M, which includes Partner cash contributions.

Proposed governance structure for the NCGRT
Proposed governance structure for the NCGRT.

Centre Goals

  1. Build a high quality, integrated program of groundwater research
  2. Enhance the scale and focus of research to promote an environmentally sustainable Australia
  3. Build capacity in the Australian groundwater profession, by providing high quality post-graduate and post-doctoral training environments and other training activities
  4. Establish the Centre as a point of interaction among higher education institutions, Governments, industry and the private sector
  5. Achieve national and international recognition and acclaim for its research output

The Centre is also tasked to broaden its collaborator base and intensify activity across the States.

Research Programs/Leaders

The Centre's goals will be pursued through five research programs:

ProgramLeaderInstitution
P1 - Innovative Characterisation of Aquifers and AquitardsProfessor Ian AcworthUNSW
P2 - Hydrodynamics and Modelling of Complex Groundwater SystemsProfessor Craig Simmons Program Leader and Centre DirectorFlinders
P3 - Surface Water-Groundwater InteractionsProfessor Peter CookCSIRO/Flinders
P4 - Groundwater-Vegetation-Atmosphere InteractionsProfessor David LockingtonUQ
P5 - Integrating Socioeconomics, Policy and Decision SupportProfessor Tony JakemanANU

NCGRT Partners

The partners with Flinders University in the NCGRT are
Australian National University (ANU)
Charles Sturt University (CSU)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Geoscience Australia (GA)
James Cook University (JCU)
La Trobe University (LTU)
Monash University (MU)
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
University of Queensland (UQ)
University of South Australia (UniSA)
University of Western Australia (UWA)
University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
SA Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (DWLBC)
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
United Water
SA Water
Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM)
Aquaterra Consulting Pty Ltd

NCGRT Governance Structure

Links:

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