Our leading edge in water, environment and agriculture technologies
The world’s natural environment, food supply, cities and economies are all fundamentally dependent on water. The University of Melbourne is tackling the imbalance between water supply and demand caused by rapid population growth, over-extraction of water, chronic pollution and climate change. Benefits from our collaborations – as well as our new innovation centre in the Mallee Region – position the University of Melbourne at the forefront of agritech, envirotech and cleantech sectors.
From drone surveillance to mapping horticulture crop health, we are developing new technologies and precision agriculture to boost farm productivity and reduce environmental footprints.
Urban water infrastructure
From smarter delivery systems, to remediating and purifying wastewater, we are at the forefront of understanding the impacts of climate change and population growth on water supply.
Technology to clean-up Antarctica
A century of exploration and research from more than 50 research stations has brought some side effects to Antarctica’s landscape. Now our chemical engineers are using trenches and micro-organisms to remove the soil contamination this historic research has left behind.
Get in touch
We are client-focussed and collaborative – we work side-by-side with your leaders, engineers and scientists to develop solutions to your challenges.
From complex multi-partner research to short consulting projects, talk to us about your needs for:
- Emerging technologies
- Developing technology strategies
- Engineering customised solutions
- Leveraging our state-of-the-art research facilities
Let us help you solve your technology challenges.
The earth’s natural environment, its food supply, cities and economies are all fundamentally dependent on water. Its secure supply consistently rates as one of humanity’s biggest strategic challenges as the imbalance between supply and demand, caused by rapid population growth and industrialisation, over-extraction of water, chronic pollution and climate change, grows.
Water innovation is vital to a sustainable future and we take a holistic approach to the three pillars of water productivity and security: water planning, infrastructure and operations (technology), and governance.
We work with farmers, river and catchment managers and water utilities to develop practical solutions for their water challenges in urban and natural environments. Our collaborations in research and development have underpinned advances in water technology and policy including transformation in salinity management, wastewater treatment and remediation, irrigation supply, flood design, basin planning and river restoration.
Our research collaborations deliver innovative solutions with transformative outcomes for industry, communities and the environment.
We are developing new technologies and precision agriculture to boost agricultural production and reduce its environmental footprint to advance farm productivity needed to achieve food security for a global population expected to increase from 7.6 billion in 2018 to 9.8 billion by 2050.View
As many parts of the world face serious threat from water stress, our research provides valuable information and tools for governments, water management agencies and industries managing water in a changing and variable climate.View
To optimise environmental outcomes, our focus is on continual improvement of environmental water decisions by strengthening the quality of available information to support evidence-based decisions.View
Urban water infrastructure
From smarter delivery systems, to remediating and purifying wastewater and understanding the impacts of climate change and population growth on water supply – our research focus takes in the entire water cycle, providing effective, efficient infrastructure.View
A blueprint for regional water productivity
Water is at the front and-centre of public debate with significant investment and effort devoted to improving its use and management.
A blueprint for regional water productivity outlines an innovation and collaborative framework to which individual and organisational contributions can be aligned to in order to achieve greatest value from Australia’s limited water resources in regional areas.
Farms, rivers and markets: doing more with less water
Farms, rivers and markets: doing more with less water outlines a framework for farmers, environmental water holders and other interested stakeholders to address crucial challenges in water management for the farming industry.
A University of Melbourne expert says there's too little transparency about how Australia's groundwater is regulated and used; we need more legal safeguards.Legal Affairs
The recent ABC Four Corners program ‘Cash Splash’ portrayed implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan as a “failure and a farce”, asserting that it constituted a gross waste of public money and was producing little to no benefit.Infrastructure Engineering
University of Melbourne research finds understanding the link between increasing rainfall and dry soil conditions can help us better plan for climate change.Engineering & Technology
A University of Melbourne expert says smart water management could lead to collaboration between rural and urban areas to establish a reliable water supply.Legal Affairs
A new report for the government, led by the University of Melbourne, says climate change was a cause of the recent mass fish deaths in the lower Darling River.Engineering & Technology
Turning on the Wonthaggi water desalination plant now will save money in the long run and head off an emergency later say University of Melbourne expertsEngineering & Technology
Good science is vital to rescuing the Basin, but the SA royal commission pushes the argument too far.News
The latest fish-kill on the Darling River highlights the need for the full implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan says University of Melbourne expert.Engineering & Technology
Take a look back at some of the most amazing research and innovation from 2018.Features
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced the appointment of seven distinguished Australian scientists and engineers to the independent body that helps guide the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.News
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested changing the rules to allow 'environmental' water to be diverted to drought-hit farms. But the idea would be far less straightforward in practice.Features
Urban forests keep our cities cool and healthy, but University of Melbourne research finds as temperatures go up, we're going to have to be wiser with our waterScience Matters
3MT People's Choice Award winner Chinchu Mohan chatted with us about the challenge of presenting research in only three minutes.Features
A recent two week intensive subject, ENE90037: International River Basin Management, provided a unique opportunity to develop greater knowledge of managing co-evolved river-basin systems through gaining practical experience in China's Yellow River Basin.Features
An environmental focus of the Australian Integrated Multimodal Ecosystem (AIMES*), has seen a new range of “smart” environmental sensors in place in central Melbourne.News
Modelling the impact on groundwater of mine developments is critical but a University of Melbourne expert warns that we need to understand the limits of modelsEngineering & Technology
As Cape Town runs dry, could water ever become more valuable than oil? University of Melbourne experts discuss the possibility of water demand exceeding supply.Go Figure
After years of degradation to the Murray-Darling Basin - University of Melbourne researchers are seeing positive results from limiting and returning river waterEngineering & Technology
The first fresh-water wave tank of its kind in the world is being used to study how pancake ice forms and melts, and could inform how we better model our global climatePursuit
An expedition to the Antarctic explores where rogue waves begin, and what these monsters tell us about the way the ocean behaves and interacts with global climate changePursuit
University of Melbourne School of Engineering PhD student Sam Skinner said better sludge disposal could significantly reduce the cost of wastewater treatment.Ingenium
Gravity has powered the distribution of water in agricultural districts for millennia. Enhanced by Australian innovations, several large-scale gravity-fed irrigation networks are now delivering water to farms more efficiently, leading to improved productivity of limited water resources.Ingenium
The world is rushing towards a water crisis. The United Nations estimates more than 780 million people, 1 in 10 of the world’s population, do not have access to safe drinking water.Pursuit
Water is life, the world’s most precious resource. Yet across rural Australia, irrigation systems covering an estimated 2.5 million hectares of land are in desperate need of modernisation. In the United States, the figure is 10 times as high.Pursuit
See below upcoming seminars and video recordings of past events. Sign-up to receive email alerts of upcoming events:
- WednesdayWater Security Event: Are our cities ready for a diversified water supply in future?Event Melbourne School of Engineering
- WednesdayWater Security Event: Gender equality in the water sectorVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- TuesdayWater Security Event: Impacts of recent bush fires on water resourcesVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- WednesdayONE Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) RoadshowVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: Environmental Outcomes from the Basin PlanVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: River Murray System OperationsVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- WednesdayWater Security Event: Contaminants of Emerging ConcernVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: The Melbourne Region Healthy Waterways StrategyVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: Returning flow to the Murray DarlingVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: Implications for water storageVideo Melbourne School of Engineering
- ThursdayWater Security Event: Murray-Darling TruthsVideo Melbourne School of Engineering