SCU professor pens water study

A SOUTHERN Cross University professor is central to a world-first, global initiative that has gained international attention since its publication on Thursday in leading science journal Nature.

Associate Professor Caroline Sullivan was one of three Australians who co-authored a paper that scientifically proves water supplies for human consumption in developed countries are under similar threat to those in Third World nations.

Prof Sullivan was also one of the first people to conceive the idea to develop a system of research that maps and quantifies the impact of human-induced stressors on human water security and riverine biodiversity.

“I have been working on this kind of thing for 10 years,” she said.

“I hosted a workshop in the UK in 2006, when I thought of the idea to do this kind of work.”

Prof Sullivan developed the methodology used to make the calculations on which the results of the research are based.

“This research has illustrated that the reliance of wealthy nations like Australia on costly technological remedies to overcome water problems does little to address the many underlying threats,” she said.

“Even more worrying is that investments that have been made in water infrastructure have often caused a decline of freshwater species to speed up.”

News of the research has appeared on the National Geographic website, BBC News and Russian media.

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