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Professor R. Quentin Grafton holds a Chair in Economics and is Co-Chair of The Australian National University (ANU) Water Initiative.
He has a PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia, Canada, a Master of Science (Agricultural Economics) from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics from Massey University, New Zealand. He is the co-author or editor of 13 books in environmental and resource economics including The Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources (Blackwell Publishing), Economics of Water Resources (Edward Elgar), Handbook of Marine Fisheries Conservation and Management (in press, Oxford University Press), Water Resources Planning and Management (Cambridge University Press) and Water Security, Economics and Governance (Tilde University Press). In 2011 he was awarded the Peter Cullen Eureka Prize for Water Research and Innovation and in 2012 his co-authored book was given the Editor's Choice Awards of Water Resources Research. He has published 30 chapters in books and over 100 papers in internationally refereed journals including some of the world's highest impact journals (including in Science and Nature).
The goal of the centre is to provide the world’s best technical and public policy insights into: managing water under climate variability and climate change, urban water supply and demand management, water markets, water pricing, trans-boundary water governance, and water management practices that promote environmental sustainability.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that about 3,800 children die every day — almost exclusively in poor countries – as a direct result of unsafe drinking water and lack of proper sanitation. Without a fundamental change in how water is managed in rich and poor countries, scarcity problems will be made much worse.
Diverting water from one area or catchment to another is likely to increase in response to water scarcity. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world there are few locations where water is available without imposing substantial costs on users from where the water is being supplied, and also on the environment.
The Centre will address these policy challenges by researching and supporting Australian and global efforts to effectively manage water scarcity in terms of the:
- economics of water use, especially the trade-offs across competing users and the environment;
- governance of water (especially across regions within states and between states); and
- policies to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Water.
The Centre co-ordinats and links its global activities to the ANU - Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance UNESCO. Within Australia, the centre will link its activities to the efforts of National Water Commission, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, University of Canberra, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and other organisations to promote integrated water resource management.