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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 is also Convenor of the Environmental and Resource Economics degrees at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, ANU and Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Otago.
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 author or editor of 10 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 (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). He has published 20 chapters in books and some 70 papers in internationally refereed journals including some of the world's highest impact journals (including twice in Science).
He is Co-Editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, a former Associate Editor of Marine Resource Economics (1998-2001), and a former Guest Editor of the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues (Volume 7 Nos 2/3). He currently serves on the editorial boards of the journal Environment and Development Economics and the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics.
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 will co-ordinate and link its global activities to UNESCO-IHE, the Global Water Partnership, the International Water Management Institute, Water Net, the International Centre for Water Economics and Governance in Africa (IWEGA), and the Water for Africa Research Project. Within Australia, the centre will link its activities to the efforts of National Water Commission, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and other organisations to promote integrated water resource management.