Water Future — Sustainable Water Future Programme

The Mississippi Delta. Photo: NASA

The Sustainable Water Future Programme (WATER FUTURE) is a global research platform with expertise and innovation in water research, policy, security and sustainability.Building upon more than a decade of water-related research under the Global Water System Project, WATER FUTURE provides the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a more sustainable “water world."

Research to support the transition to water sustainability

Water is and will remain a crucial factor in the many challenges that our world faces, and is a central goal of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

WATER FUTURE is a core activity of Future Earth, an international network driving global environmental change research. Hosted by Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute in Brisbane, Australia, its sole mission is to support the quest for solutions to the world’s water problems. This will be done through the promotion of science-based evidence and implementation and monitoring of goals for sustainable development.

Consistent with the broad objectives of the Water Sustainable Development Goal, research conducted through WATER FUTURE seeks to ensure a balance between the needs of humankind and nature through the protection of ecosystems and the services it provides, and to offer real solutions underpinned by interdisciplinary science to deliver a sustainable "water world."

WATER FUTURE will address science, engineering, governance and management issues to drive policy change in the science arena. This broadens the scope of the programme to serve as an incubator, network hub and translator of different projects’ scientific findings for science-policy dialogues. As an example, WATER FUTURE will serve as a “testbed” for developing, testing and monitoring experiences with integrated methodologies and will establish a future-oriented knowledge synthesis and assessment process on the state of global water resources, the Global Water System Assessment.

WATER FUTURE will address the water-related science, policy and societal questions regarding global environmental change and the pathways toward sustainable futures, guided by the following knowledge-to-action agenda from the Bonn Water Declaration on Global Water Security:

Understand the complex and interlinked nature of the global water system focusing on how this may change now and in the future through the adoption of a multi-scale and interdisciplinary approach.

Implement state-of-the-art synthesis studies on the fresh water system that can inform risk assessments and be used to develop strategies to better promote the protection of water systems.

Build the capacity of the next generation in global change research and management, making use of cross-scale analysis and integrated system design to enable the next generation of water scientists and practitioners in water research.

Expand monitoring through traditional land-based environmental observation networks and state-of-the-art earth-observation satellite systems, to provide detailed observations of the state of the global water system.

Explore ecosystem-based alternatives to costly structural solutions for climate proofing such that the design of the built environment in the future includes both traditional and green infrastructure.

Stimulate innovation within water institutions with a balance of technical- and governance-based solutions and taking heed of value systems and equity.

Water Future website

Anik Bhaduri
Executive Director
Sustainable Water Future Programme,
Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University
Sir Samuel Griffith Building (N78)
170 Kessels Road Nathan Qld 4111
Phone: +610737359272

Key contacts