Research Institute

Adelaide | Australia

About Us

Our research is saving South Australia’s most precious resource to make sure there is enough water for everyone. We’re collaborating with top scientists and researchers around Australia to find new ways of saving, accessing and delivering water. The outcome will be a better future for you and all South Australians.

The Millenium Drought clearly exposed the increased threat to the security of water supplies for communities, industry and the environment. South Australia's future economic growth and resilience is dependent on the provision of sustainable water supplies under a variable and changing climate.

This vital importance of water to the quality of life and the economic interests of the people of South Australia was recognised by the South Australian Government in establishing the Goyder Institute for Water Research in July 2010 and the development of a $50 million, five-year strategic research plan. Following a successful five years, the Institute's term was extended in the 2015-2016 State Budget for a further four years.

The Goyder Institute for Water Research is a partnership between the South Australian Government through the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), CSIRO, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and ICE WaRM (The International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management).

Since 2010, the Goyder Institute has established itself as an independent expert science advisor providing quality, evidence based knowledge on water management issues important for South Australia.

The Goyder Institute is committed to delivering the scientific knowledge needed for independent expert water management advice. This will ensure the Institute informs policy and decision-making, identifies future threats to water security and assists in an integrated approach to water management in South Australia and beyond. 

Research Focus

Economic Development

The focus of the Economic Development Impact Area is to address the relevant State Government priorities by:
• Providing science to underpin sustainable water resource management for existing water resource developments;
• Providing science to underpin identification of future sustainable water resource development opportunities; and,
• Identifying pathways and opportunities to facilitate use of research outcomes by the private sector. 

Water continues to be a challenging State issue where independent science is needed to assist Government in addressing key economic and industry development imperatives, particularly in the mining and agriculture sectors. There are also regional communities – in particular, remote indigenous communities – where a secure water supply continues to be a key issue. Looking forward, there is potential for significant investment over the next 10 years in the mining, food and wine sectors. Collaborative, demanddriven research is required to underpin sustainable growth and productivity in these sectors and to enable South Australia to prosper. 

Finding sustainable water resources to support mining development will enable the mining sector to grow whilst ensuring that key community and environmental assets are maintained. A state-wide strategic approach to the provision and sourcing of water will deliver the most cost-effective and prudent management of water supply and management of waste streams for mine sites, mining camps and outback communities that do not have reliable supplies of water.

The Northern Adelaide Plains is one of the premium food and wine regions of South Australia. There is opportunity for expansion of this region to provide new employment opportunities in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. Science can support this expansion through enhanced understanding of the utilisation of recycled water, stormwater and groundwater resources of varying qualities available in this region. The Goyder Institute can provide thought leadership in developing options for future industries and delivery of services that are visionary, integrated and sustainable.

Healthy Ecosystems

The Healthy Ecosystems Impact Area expands on the activities of the first five years of the Institute that included a significant focus on the Murray-Darling Basin, inland waters such as the South-East, Mount Lofty Ranges and Lake Eyre Basin, and socio-economic assessment of Marine Park Sanctuary Zones. These areas continue to be a priority for State Government in achieving optimal outcomes for the environment while also balancing social and economic outcomes in the context of a changing climate, stewardship and competing water demands.

The Healthy Ecosystems Impact Area will focus on:
• Furthering knowledge to support appropriate water quality and quantity for environmental assets to ensure resilient, connected and healthy ecosystems;
• Developing frameworks that integrate hydroclimate, hydrological, environmental and economic considerations in water management to achieve sustainability;
• Enhancing the scientific basis to test resource allocation scenarios for improved water planning outcomes and individual resource allocation decisions;
• Leadership in environmental flow science and in the communication of the research outcomes to environmental managers; and,
• Establishing an evidence base to inform and evaluate environmental management commitments, including social and economic factors, in addition to biophysical assessments.

Climate Action

The Climate Action Impact Area will further the application of the SA Climate Ready data to address key policy challenges in implementing the State’s Climate Change Strategy. These include: 

• Applying the SA Climate Ready data to improve the understanding of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities associated with climate change in South Australia;
• Developing tools that water and environmental managers in South Australia can use to develop the most appropriate mitigation strategies that incorporate an integrated assessment of climate change on water resources;
• Providing a science base to support achieving carbon neutrality; and,
• Undertaking risk assessments of water and related natural resources in the catchment and coastal zone.
• Providing a science base to support  achieving net zero emissions in the  State through bio-sequestration


Scroll To Top Scroll To Top

Signup for our newsletter