The major focus of Water Science is the delivery of relevant, accurate and timely science to inform the management of water in NSW. We work with the community to grow the knowledge and skills of our staff, develop opportunities to work throughout Australia and internationally and support the use of water science to develop policy and adaptively manage water throughout NSW.

Our vision

Harnessing the power of scientific data and transforming it into knowledge that informs and supports the development of world class water policy, planning and regulatory tools for the people of NSW.

The strategy

The Water Science Strategy 2018-2023 was developed to assist business planning by identifying goals and prioritising activities over the five years.

The Water Science Strategy identifies four strategic goals that were chosen to strengthen our ability to achieve our vision, lead water science development, improve the management of water resources and help development future water professional, while also benefiting the NSW economy.

Ensure the sustainable management of water resources

We want our internal expertise to be recognised and utilised to sustainably manage water resources.

GoalsKey actions
Identify and manage risks, opportunities and issues
  • Review procedures and tools to monitor and investigate emerging issues and opportunities
  • Develop management systems to ensure the  issues and opportunities are consistently and transparently managed;
  • Identify opportunities to assess, propose and implement evidence based mitigation and adaptation strategies/programs
  • Engage with Planning, Policy and Regulatory to identify areas of priority for Water Science
Support policy development
  • Identify and fill science knowledge gaps in policy development
  • Provide scientific input in policy development to ensure our policies address the scientific realities of ensuring sustainable water resource management
  • Take all opportunity to inform policy and regulatory decision making
Support water planning
  • Provide high quality water science
  • Ensure scientific integrity is maintained
  • Adopt and/or adapt new technologies or knowledge to support science delivery
  • Develop methods and tools to evaluate water plans
Support implementation of water plans
  • Develop programs and structures to support the implementation of water plans
  • Provide technical advice on State significant developments (SSDs), State Significant Infrastructure (SSIs), Integrated Development (IDAS)
  • Support WaterNSW by assessing trades, dealings, water supply works approvals are in line with water sharing plans (WSPs)
  • Undertake reviews, provide technical input, and recommendations to other branches of DoI Water, agencies, councils or third parties.

Work collaboratively 

Work collaboratively with local, regional, national and international partners to advance water science, innovation and benefits to all communities

We want to provide science support to enhance water resource management across agencies and institutions.

GoalKey actions
Support national water programs
  • Support the NSW scientific contributions to collaborative water resource management efforts with other governments and national agencies, including:
    • National Water Initiative (NWI)
    • National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS)
    • Great Artesian Basin (GAB)
    • Lake Eyre Basin (LEB)
    • Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
    • Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)
  • Develop stronger links with national water science organisation such as CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, Water Research Australia
Work collaboratively with other jurisdictions on water science
  • Manage the NSW contribution to the Murray Darling Basin Science Platform development and implementation
  • Provide scientific support to the development of NSW water policy positions
  • Work with other NSW Agencies to develop scientific research, applied studies and expert tools
  • Work across states and territories sharing information and completing mutually beneficial studies
Develop Science Partnerships
  • Initiate and develop science partnerships in support of enhanced water resource management outcomes with Universities and research organisations
  • Work with other NSW agencies to develop options for the development of a NSW Water Science hub

Foster, develop and enhance water science capacity and capabilities

Create a positive work environment by supporting science staff career development and job satisfaction.

GoalsKey actions
Promote technical Capacity and Skills building
  • Support study programs for staff members to undertake study or additional qualifications.
Foster team culture and development
  • Promote flexible working arrangements to support work life balance
Adopt new technologies and knowledge
  • Support training and development opportunities for new technologies
  • Monitor and report on capacity, capability or efficiency gains from the adoption of new technologies to support business cases

Communicate water science knowledge

We want to maximise the impact of water science in water policy,  water management and in educating water users in NSW.

GoalsKey actions
Develop stronger Inter departmental water policy relationships
  • Communicate NSW positions on water science related issues and policies
  • Promote and support opportunities and responsibilities for inter-agency programs or policy development to increase engagement of team members
Increase number of peer reviewed publications
  • Promote and support procedures to support publication
  • Support training and development for writing and publishing scientific papers
Annual Water Science Conference and Planning meeting
  • Investigate options for an open annual water science conference with external stakeholders