News and Events


Memorandum of Understanding with Tsinghua University

A Memorandum of Understanding for Jointly Awarded PhD Degree between the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne and the Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University has been signed, facilitated by the Australia China Joint Research Centre on River Basin Management.

 Group photo of the conference participants.

Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society’s Annual Conference

Prof Peter Scales and Dr David Lewis were invited to participate in the Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society’s annual conference in Tianjin in October. The Society has a long history and 80,000 members. Prof Scale’s talk was on the extensive scope to reduce losses of water in delivery systems and on farms and Dr Lewis spoke about the major challenges in getting water markets like Australia’s to work in China.

 Group photo of the conference participants.

Chinese Academy of Sciences Visit

Prof Andrew Western and Dr Yongping Wei visit to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in November has been reported on the CAS Website.

Dr Yongping Wei and Prof Andrew Western in China

Media Reports

Media reports from lectures given by Prof Peter Scales at Gansu Agricultural University and Wuhan University:

澳大利亚墨尔本大学Peter Scales教授来校进行学术交流

澳大利亚墨尔本大学Peter Scales教授来甘农大进行学术交流

Public Lecture: China and the World

Public lecture titled ‘China and the World’ by Dr Angang Hu, Director and Professor at the Institute for Contemporary China Studies, School of Public Policy & Management, Tsinghua University on Tuesday the 18th of November at the Sidney Myer Asia Centre.

2014 International River Basin Management Course

The International River Basin Management course (ENEN90037) was the first official postgraduate C-campus course taught by staff from the University of Melbourne and Tsinghua University. The subject involved one week of lectures and tutorials and one week of field work in the Yellow River in China. It was a successful intensive subject that demonstrated the potential of using an “electronic campus” to link students and lecturers across the globe.

Pursuit magazine: On the Waterfront

The pursuit Research Magazine has an article related to water efficiency problems in China. Breakthrough technology and new international partnerships are forging a new way forward in managing the growing global water crisis. The article gives an insight of how the Australia China Joint Research Centre on River Basin Management will contribute towards efficient Water Management in China.

Dr Yongping awarded an ARC Future Fellow Fellowship

Dr Yongping has been awarded an ARC Future Fellow Fellowship of $609,306 ARC funding for 4 years.

Project Summary

Current water resources management, focusing on gains of economic efficiency in the short term under the assumption of steady-state conditions, has generally failed to respond to both catchment environmental degradation and to the increasing complexity of human–environment interactions. This project will develop a new approach to water resources management by relating management practices based on ecological understanding to the social mechanisms behind these practices at water catchments. It will improve the predictability and precision of water resources management and increase our ability to maintain our options for a sustainable future. This will have a profound effect on catchment sustainability, a globally significant problem.


Visit from Prof Hao Wang

Prof Hao Wang from the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) and his delegation travelled to Melbourne to participate in the Australia China Joint Research Centre Governance meeting held on the 3rd of December at the University of Melbourne. The meeting was chaired by Dr Graham Hawke.

Members of the Hao Wang delegation with MSE staff in front of the Old Engineering

International Course on River Basin Management

An intensive one week program was held at Tsinghua University in July, 2013. The purpose of this part of the program was to give Chinese students knowledge and practice in the planning and management of the Yellow River and to introduce them to management practices in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The second stage of the course involved another intensive one week program at the University of Melbourne in August. A group of sixteen students were chosen from Tsinghua University to attend the course and 12 students were selected from the University of Melbourne. This second stage comprised of six topics across the Murray Darling River Basin and the Yellow River Basin and a field visit to Goulburn Valley. These six topics included Understanding the Murray Darling Basin, Development of Water Resources, Drivers of Reform, Water Productivity, Comparison between the Murray Darling Basin and the Yellow River Basin, and the Yellow River Basin Management over 5000 years.

International Course on River Basin Management 266kb pdf

Guest lecture by Professor Bingfang Wu

Prof Bingfang Wu, head of Division of Digital Agriculture in the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Basin-Wide ET monitoring and ET management
1 October 2013


The latent heat of evapotranspiration (ET) is one of elements of water cycle and plays an important role for water resource management in water scarcity areas. Compared to water balance method or in situ measurements, an operational integrated monitoring method of basin-wide ET from remote sensing data is essential and the only approach to derive basin-wide ET data. Based on multi-source data, new algorithms were integrated into the ETWatch algorithm and software system, which has been validated and applied in many arid and semi-arid basins of China.

Recognizing that evapotranspiration (ET) represents the dominant consumptive use of water in the hydrologic cycle, basins in water scarcity area need to adopt ET management approach, which comprises four stages:

  1. a basin-scale water consumption balance
  2. determination of a target ET consistent with sustainable water consumption
  3. identification of water consumption tradeoffs, competition and feedback among different water sectors (agricultural, industrial, domestic, and socio-environmental)
  4. basin-wide monitoring of sustainable water consumption.

Basin-Wide ET monitoring and ET management 303kb pdf

Other News

The Australia China Research Centre on River Basin Management was launched at The Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) in Beijing on the 30th of May 2013.

Prof Bojie Fu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a public seminar titled “Ecosystems and Ecosystems Services in China: From Science to Policy” on the 24th of April 2013.