CSIRO experience in water management

July 14th, 2016

Founded in Australia in 1926, CSIRO is the federal government’s agency for scientific research in Australia. Today, CSIRO is among the top 10 organisations of applied research in the world. Among it’s most relevant innovations, is the WiFi, spectroscopy of atomic absorption, the first commercially successful polymer banknote, extended wear contact lenses, insect repellant Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls in Australia.

The CSIRO Chile Research Foundation is the first legal entity constituted outside of Australia on behalf of CSIRO. Invited by the Government of Chile in 2010 to participate in the calling of International Centres of Excellence in R+D, CSIRO officially installs its offices in Chile in 2011, as an International Centre of Excellence for Mining.

In 2013, the statutes for the conformation of the CSIRO Chile Research Foundation were formalised, and it began developing capabilities in diverse areas such as mining, basin management, marine resources management and energy, among others.

Experience in water resources management

CSIRO is the Australian expert in the development of solutions for the complex challenges of the management of water resources. For this, it has a unit called “Land & Water”, which holds a personnel of about 700 people, an annual budget of US$ 100 million and a portfolio of 400 projects. This unit supports different governmental and private actors in a comprehensive way in the management of water resources, providing technologies and tools for the integrated management of water, approaches bases in scientific evidence to support decisions of management and regulation, and deliberate and participatory approximations to obtain broad agreements regarding long term management. A few examples of water resources management developed by CSIRO during recent years are:

  1. Sustainable Extractions 2007-2013
  2. Water Information Research and Development Alliance 2009-2016
  3. Bioregional Assessments Programme 2013-2016
  4. Flinders & Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment 2012-2013

CSIRO and the Chilean Water Authority work together for years to approach water scarcity in the basin of the Copiapó river. This work began in 2012 with a prospecting study elaborated by CSIRO and continued in 2014-2015 with the development of a group of reference terms for the implementation of a series of activities required to face the challenge of water resource management in the Copiapó river basin, in a participatory way and with a solid scientific base.