Water and Waste Management

While safe and sustainable water and waste management systems are essential in resilient cities, we recognise that the integration of these systems is equally important. This research group works with partners in industry and government to identify the key research challenges of integrating water and waste management in our ever-expanding cities. Drawing on expertise in water quality management, public health risk assessment and complex systems dynamics, this group is ideally placed to respond to these challenges.


"Safe and sustainable urban water management underpins resilient and sustainable cities in the face of climate change."

This theme, headed up by Associate Professor Anne Roiko, is focused on co-designing and implementing applied research for the water sector and transferring science into practice. Our urban water researchers work collaboratively with industry, government and research brokers to apply transdisciplinary knowledge and systems-based tools to the challenge of ensuring safe water for our communities. By necessity, managing water is based on the integrated water management paradigm, managing water quality and public health risks and benefits, from alternative sources to a range of end-uses. Our researchers are addressing the challenges associated with optimising supply and treatment options in the face of mounting population pressures and climate change, while respecting competing demands and water quality objectives.

Our Adjunct members

  • Tony McAlister - Watertech
  • Ryan Edge - City of Gold Coast -  Water and Waste
  • Kathy Baker - City of Gold Coast -  Water and Waste

Current and Future Projects

  • Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) projects - assessing potential health risks associated with microbial contaminants from point and diffuse sources in urban catchments (local councils, water utilities)
  • Modelling of potential health risks and health benefits associated with novel/innovative climate-resilient water infrastructure projects (City of Gold Coast, Seqwater)

Collaborate with us

  • Nature-based wastewater management strategies (Urban Utilities, Local Councils)
  • Community engagement and risk communication about purified recycled water (Seqwater)
  • Safe recreational use of urban and regional waterways

Research Highlights

Sustainable Water and Wastewater Management Plan wins award

Blue Health Project

COVID-19 Water Security Risk Index


Towards integrated reporting for Darwin Harbour

Associate Professor Cara Beal leads the team to create a report card on measuring the health of Darwin Harbour. The Darwin Harbour Report Card will report on the ecological, social, indigenous cultural, and economic health of Darwin Harbour. Similar to a school report card, the Darwin Harbour Report Card will provide performance driven numeric grades that reflect the health of the harbour on a regular basis.

Find out more here


Pacific Island Community Water Management Plus Project (PacWam+) 2018-2021

Cities RI Environmental Health researchers Associate Professor Anne Roiko (Co-investigator) and Associate Professor Cara Beal (Principal Investigator) are part of an international team in this $1.2M, 3 year DFAT funded project looking at ways to improve the safe and inclusive management of water in rural Pacific Island villages.

Griffith’s International WaterCentre is managing the project (Dr Regina Souter) in collaboration with The University of the South Pacific (Fiji campus in Suva), Solomon Islands National University (Honiara), Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HfHF) and Plan International / Live and Learn Environmental Education (PI/LLEE).

More information on PACWAM here


Remote and Isolated Communities Essential Services Project (RICES)

This project led by Dr Cara Beal with PhD candidate Melissa Jackson is the first of it's kind in Australia and is a collaborative effort aimed at trialling community-directed water demand management strategies to reduce the typically high volumes of water (and related energy) used by residents in remote indigenous communities. More information including the final report on the RICES project can be found on this page.

Our Partners

We have the opportunity to be partnering with Healthy Land and Water and the International Water Centre on a number of water-related projects.

Connect and Collaborate

For more information, get in touch.