Universities unite for fresh water management
The University of Canterbury’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr and Lincoln University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hay have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding governing the next five years of operations of the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management (Waterways).
One of the first cross-university teaching and research centres in the country, Waterways has successfully delivered teaching and research programmes in Water Resource Management for five years, and the signing of the new agreement included a celebration of the Centre’s success.
Many of the more than 50 academic members of the Centre, along with representatives of the Centre’s Advisory Board and Consultative Committee attended to hear both Vice-Chancellors speak about senior management’s continued commitment to Waterways. The two universities view the centre as the focal point for improving knowledge-driven water resource management in New Zealand.
Alongside existing water organisations, Waterways increases skills, knowledge, and awareness in the water sector. It encourages strong co-operation between the two universities to effect institutional change leading to better education outcomes for the country.
Waterways’ Director Professor Jenny Webster-Brown says that part of the Centre’s success is due to its close association with key stakeholders in New Zealand water management, including those represented on the Centre’s Advisory Board; Environment Canterbury, NIWA, Aqualinc Research, Irrigation NZ, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Fish & Game New Zealand.
“The advice and guidance they have provided over several years has helped the centre achieve and maintain an essential relevance to New Zealand freshwater water management concerns. Our membership within the universities continues to expand, diversifying the freshwater research we undertake and therefore the expertise we can bring to bear on water management issues both in New Zealand and offshore,” Webster-Brown says.
Waterways is a critical link in providing improved teaching and associated research in water resources, the professor says. It serves the unique and ever increasing demands in Canterbury for improved water resource management, and as a national centre of interdisciplinary educational excellence.