King’s Water has a busy week – all are welcome to the various talks detailed below! Events are free and open to the public.
Just adding water? The Water Act, sustainable diversion limits and environmental health in the Murray-Darling Basin
Stefanie Schulte, Policy Manager at the New South Wales Irrigators’ Council
Tuesday 18 October, 4:30pm, War Studies Meeting Room (6th Floor of the King’s Building)
At the peak of Australia’s Millennium Drought, Australian lawmakers sought to amend the water management practices in the Murray-Darling Basin. Extremely low precipitation, high temperatures and a Federal election enticed the then Prime Minister John Howard to announce a $10 billion national water management plan to improve water efficiency in the Murray-Darling Basin, set a sustainable diversion limit for surface water extraction, recover water entitlements for the environment and introduce a range of Federal institutions tasked with managing Murray-Darling Basin water resources. What came next was a long list of Federal and State legislation rewriting water management in the Murray-Darling Basin starting with the passing of the Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan in 2012. Among many initiatives, the Basin Plan proposed a 2750GL water recovery target for the environment.
While the early years of the Basin Plan focused on non-strategic water purchases for the environment, the most recent years have seen a change in how water for the environment is acquired and how environmental health is assessed. With a change in government in 2013, policy makers move away from straight water entitlement purchases and towards infrastructure investment as well as imposed a cap on water purchases which was enshrined in the Water Act in 2015 – recognising the wide-scale social and economic impacts in the Murray-Darling Basin through the water recovery process. Recently, Basin water ministers have agreed to consider non-flow related measures to achieve better environmental health.
After nearly 10 years of water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin, the ‘old mantra’ of environmental water recovery appears to be changing. The question is, have we found a better way to manage Murray-Darling Basin water resources or will we be moving in a yet different direction after the next Federal election in July 2016?
The Food-Water-Energy Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa
Mark Mulligan, Tony Allan, and others
Thursday 20 October, 6pm, B4 North Wing (Strand Building)
On Thursday 20 October 2016, a number of King’s Water members will speak at a Public Event on the ‘Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture’ (MENARA-Project) exploring the water-food-energy nexus in the region.
Dr Mark Mulligan will give opening remarks and Professor Tony Allan will be the keynote speaker. The closing panel discussion will include contributions from King’s Water Research Associates Amiera Sawas and Martin Keulertz.
The event is free and open to the public but registration is requested. Please indicate your interest online: http://goo.gl/LiZD4
Questions about the event or the project should go to Dr Mark Mulligan.
Cous Cous the Elephant: Espionage, Diplomacy, and Cultural (Mis)Understanding in the Middle East
Becca Farnum, King’s College London
Friday 21 October, 1-2pm, Pyramid Room (4th Floor, King’s Building)
Next week’s Intrepid Explorers
lunchtime talk will be given by LWRG Member Becca Farnum and include reflection on personal and international hydro-diplomacy.
Becca is a doctoral researcher at King’s College London investigating environmental peacebuilding in the Middle East and North Africa. She partners with local activists in the region to explore how nature can be used to bring conflicting communities together. Over the course of her research, she has spent a year in countries like Morocco, Lebanon, and Kuwait engaging with fog-harvesting, conservation scuba diving, and war journalism. This talk will reflect on how the presence of a researcher creates moments of cultural learning, miscommunication, and change for everyone involved in a project. Come along for stories of mistaken identities, farcical shop vendors, and lifelong friendships.
This Thursday evening, Intrepid Explorers is kicking off the term with a special evening session by 2014 Marshall Scholar Grace C. Young.
Grace is an aquanaut who has spent weeks living under the ocean, spent last Christmas sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, and regularly performs ballet…in scuba gear.
It promises be a really fascinating evening of personal and academic stories about how we as humans encounter huge bodies of water we still know so little about.
Join the Intrepid Explorers for “Under Pressure” with Grace Young at 6pm this Thursday 6 October in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04 of the King’s Building, Strand Campus).
The Intrepid Explorers team are happy to present our first talk of the new term by aquatic biologist, marine engineer and adventurer Grace Young from Oxford University.
Come along this Thursday and be inspired by stories of hardship, hilarity, ingenuity and isolation. Grace’s research combines engineering and marine biology to develop methods of reconstructing coral reefs. She has worked at CERN developing software, NOAA helping build a marine robot to monitor fisheries, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution helping build a marine robot to map the oceans in 3D. An aquanaut, she spent two weeks living and working underwater in the Aquarius lab with Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. An avid sailor and diver, in her spare time Grace serves as a trustee of the Oceans Project and is helping to refurbish a Cold War submarine.
Nando Lewis is a PhD candidate supervised by Frans Berkhout in the Department of Geography and Anja Shortland in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. After taking a gap year to cycle from Lima to Buenos Aires, Nando completed a BSc in Psychology in 2013 at University College London. During his BSc, Nando also took a module in primatology and this led him to Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria where he assisted a project researching chimpanzee tool use by the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. A short walk from Bedford Way to Tavistock Square ensued, where Nando completed an MSc in Security Studies, also at UCL.
Water is not only an academic subject for Nando. He was born in it, and his main leisure activities include underwater rugby and spearfishing. Nando’s passion for spearfishing has taken him to the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, much of the European Mediterranean, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the glorious coastlines of Dorset and Northumbria. Spending so much time underwater searching for fish has shown Nando the devastating impact that unregulated fishing (including spearfishing) can have on the size, number, variety and behaviour of fish. Nando enjoys travelling and is proficient in French, Spanish and German, maintaining his proficiency during the ‘off-season’ by reading fiction books in those languages. He hopes to find many more excuses to travel through his association with King’s Water.