University of Western Australia: Eureka Prize nomination for two UWA academics

Two academics from The University of Western Australia School of Agriculture and Environment have been announced as finalists for one of the prestigious 2022 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Professor David Pannell and Associate Professor James Fogarty are among 45 finalists from across the country in the running for Australia’s leading science awards which recognise excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.

Investment Framework for the Economics of Water Sensitive Cities (INFFEWS), a joint venture with Griffith University and an output of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, has been named as a finalist for the NSW Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research.

“Expectations around water management have evolved over time, and today, the community expects that environmental, amenity, and liveability aspects are also considered as an important part of water management strategies,” Professor Pannell said.

“These can be overlooked when projects are evaluated for funding because financial impact is prioritised but the INFEWS projects changes this.

“Essentially, INFFEWS is a one-stop integrated decision support framework for investment in water sensitive cities projects and provides comprehensive social, environmental and financial evaluation for balanced decisions.”

Associate Professor Fogarty said the framework had been tested on a diverse range of water-sensitive projects across the country.

“These have included the rehabilitation of waterways, constructed wetlands, passive recreation areas and irrigation, green roofs, integrated water management plans, alternative water supply, water sensitive infill options and water-sensitive city planning options,” he said.

“Multi-disciplinary teams involving environmental scientists, architects, planners and engineers worked on each case study with users happy that the framework worked in providing a comprehensive economic assessment of water sensitive projects that capture social, environmental and financial benefits.”

Winners of the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes will be announced at an award ceremony hosted at the Australian Museum in Sydney on August 31.