About us

The UNSW Global Water Institute (UNSW-GWI) is a multi-disciplinary powerhouse comprising over 400 researchers, professional staff and PhD students from right across UNSW.

Testing the UV-C prototype at the local all-girls boarding school

Clean water is essential for all life on our planet, but global water issues have never been so prominent, and the demand for solutions never so high. Our research activities span an incredible variety of water-related fields but our researchers have one thing in common: they are driven by the urgent need to protect this essential resource in perpetuity. 

Our mission

Our mission is to contribute to a future where all communities have access to world-leading research, education, information and innovation to better manage water resources for drinking, agriculture and the protection of marine and fresh water ecosystems.

Our goal

Our goal is to provide opportunities for members of the UNSW water community to participate in, and contribute to, high-impact projects and programs. Simply, we seek to identify opportunities across our three thematic areas that require collective action and multidisciplinary solutions


What we do 

  1. Help solve global water problems and shape future innovation for the water sector through world-class, multi-disciplinary research and its application
  2. Provide excellence in water education, capacity building and sharing of water knowledge, technologies and expertise
  3. Collaborate with government, industry, NGOs, communities and other research organisations in achieving an enduring global impact
  4. Improve the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised communities, including Indigenous peoples, through exchanging water knowledge and promoting equality, diversity, open debate and economic progress
  5. Connect research to water policy development and on-ground management
  6. Respond to major public issues, industry requirements and community needs
  7. Educate, mentor and give voice to young and early career water professionals
  8. Develop new ideas, innovations and technologies and stimulate positive change through thought leadership
  9. Marshall all the water-related research and education capabilities across UNSW into a coherent offering to the local, national and global water market

Why we exist

In addition to providing excellence in water education, the UNSW-GWI primarily exists to forge strong connections between the water-related research expertise and facilities at UNSW and provide direct access to this expertise and facilities for our external partners.

Specific benefits for UNSW researchers:

  • Opportunities for enhanced collaboration
  • Broader, more integrated water research
  • Strategic international partnerships
  • Stronger opportunities for research funding

Specific benefits for our partner organisations:

  • Easy access to top water expertise and facilities
  • The opportunity to form long-term strategic relationships with UNSW
  • Increased organisational capabilities through tailored education


Build a global reputation and awareness of UNSW capabilities in fresh and marine water resources

Engage with strategic partners in each thematic area

Build and strengthen new foundations for UNSW water research and education

Promote scholarship and strengthen research collaborations


Ways to connect