The US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney announced today it has entered a three-year agreement with the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University in California on the management of water systems in Australia and the United States.

Chief executive officer of the US Studies Centre, Professor Geoffrey Garrett said Australia and California and other western American stares share many similar challenges regarding water management.

“The US Studies Centre is committed to promoting the sharing of experiences and joint problem solving on issues of great importance to both Australia and America. I cannot think of a more important issue than water or a better partner than Stanford University”, Garrett said.

There are two principal elements to the partnership:

  • Stanford University and the US Studies Centre will each host two meetings in California and Sydney between policy makers and experts in Australia and the US on strategies for increasing groundwater sustainability, storing surface water in aquifers, and improving water quality. The result of these meetings will be published in both countries.
  • Stanford and the Centre will support empirical research comparing policies and governance regarding water management in Australia and the western US, led by Victorian water expert and policy maker Rebecca Nelson who is completing her doctorate at the Stanford University Law School.

The Hon. Robert Hill who heads the US Studies Centre’s sustainability program said that the water project offers great potential for improving public policies for water management in both countries.

“Australia’s experiences in water management are of great interest to policy makers in the US. Developing collaborations between researchers and experts in both countries should help us all tackle the critical issue of managing scarce water resources”, Hill said.

The first Australian-American experts meeting will be held in the second half of 2011.

For more information about the US Studies Centre Dow Sustainability Program go to

Media inquiries: Annabel McGilvray M 0405 260 919 E