Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2020-2

Professor John Williams“The Murray-Darling Basin Scheme: a challenge in complexity in balancing social, economic and environmental perspectives”

Professor John WIlliams FTSE 
Adjunct Professor
Australian National University and Charles Sturt University 

Date: Thursday, 19 March 2020 
Venue: Via email circulation


The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. It covers one million square kilometres of south-eastern Australia, across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.


Murray-Darling Baasin diagram

While pandemic restrictions on group activities prevail, the South Highlands Branch continues to send members information and summaries from our scheduled speakers.

In place of the this talk, two references are provided:


Professor John WIlliams is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Farrer Memorial Medal for achievement and excellence in agricultural science. As one of Australia’s respected scientists, John has extensive experience in providing national and international thought leadership in natural-resource management, particularly related to agriculture and its environmental impact. He has published more than 120 papers on soil physics/hydrology and sustainability agriculture. John is currently an Adjunct Professor at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and Adjunct Professor at CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society. He was formerly Chair of the Water Forum of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

John retired in 2011 after nearly six years as Commissioner of the NSW Natural Resources Commission. Other former roles include: Chief, CSIRO Land & Water; Chief Scientist, NSW Department of Natural Resources; member of the Steering Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems; inaugural Board member for the CRC for Irrigation Futures; member of the Ministerial Scientific Advisory Council for NSW Department of Primary Industry; member of the Commission for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Chair of the Advisory Board to the Commonwealth Environmental Research Fund’s Landscape Logic Hub; Chair of the Environmental Research Advisory Panel to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Chair of the Research Advisory Council to the Murray–Darling Freshwater Research Centre; Scientific Adviser to the Board of Landcare Australia; and a founding Director of the Peter Cullen Water & Environment Trust.

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