Water Journal : Water Journal August 2014
LACK OF RECOGNITION CSIRO has not always effectively badged its contributions to projects, so recognition has sometimes been elusive. In the cut and thrust of pro ling and positioning about urban water, in particular, it seems CSIRO has been outplayed by others. The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities is seen by some as ful lling all the needs of cities; universities claim the academic high ground; while other entities have been strong on advocacy, but light on for science. Importantly, CSIRO has the ability to conduct dispassionate, evidence-based analysis of options for holistic water management -- in short, to be the trusted advisor to government. Another dimension of this unfolding situation is that being between droughts has impacted the political climate as well. Not only has the sense of urgency been taken down a notch, but also the current Government is not necessarily sold on science generally. Add to that unfortunate coincidence the fact that Canberra-based champions for CSIRO are thin on the ground: the National Water Commission, long a supporter, is on its way out (although a Senate resolution to retain it was passed on 17 July); while the Department of Environment is being decimated and cannot be a strong ally. Against the backdrop of current challenges, it's important to remember that CSIRO has always been nancially challenged, since Government demanded that basic appropriation funds be supplemented by about a third of total revenue being externally earned. Carving an excellent scienti c reputation is dif cult to sustain while chasing funds from more prosaic activities -- not to mention the basic challenge of continuous, productive deployment of thousands of scientists. On that topic, too, there are HR hurdles that have slowed or stalled the ability to make necessary adjustments to teams and to swing in fresh people. As a result, a mandate to rationalise the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship over a three-year period could not be achieved. What are the take-home messages from all this? My take, from a mainly water perspective, is that: • CSIRO is a national treasure and its 80-year contribution to science and technology should not be compromised by arbitrary cuts to funding (whether internally or externally driven); • CSIRO has a key ongoing role to play in a water research eld that has many ephemeral players; but asserting national leadership, maintaining continuity and managing relationships are all going to take great political acumen; • We are currently between droughts: when the next one hits, it will be too late to start analysing how to manage it; • Urban water research needs a secure place in the science agenda and CSIRO's input in that area is vital, to apply rigorous scienti c and economic methods to both inevitable and potential problems. Self Contained Eyewash Portable Gravity operated 15 minutes of continuous flow 35L tank capacity product code: EL483 Portable Eyewash/Body Spray Soft spray flow controlled eyewash outlets Stainless steel hand actuator and stay-open ball valve 45L tank incorporates a body spray product code: EL481* *trolley sold separately E7301-BK Tobin Eyewash Wall Stand Specially designed bottles give a soft flow Includes 2 x 1 litre bottles product code: TOB129 Tobin 200ml Pocket Flask Enables washing in seconds Pocket size supplementary support to primary eyewash product code: TOB121 FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 1300 369 273 OR VISIT WWW.ENWARE.COM.AU safety solutions SELF CONTAINED EYEWASHES Sustainable Yield Studies for the Murray-Darling was one of the major projects delivered by CSIRO.
Water Journal September 2014
Water Journal June 2014