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Engineers from UCLA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Study Water Problems Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Engineers from UCLA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Study Water Problems

Joint conference in Melbourne in March 2002 tackles environmental impacts of water policies in Australia and California.

By Samuel Aroni

A joint Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)-UCLA Water Environment Workshop, on Environmental Policies and Practices in the Water Industry, was held in Melbourne, March 19-20, 2002. A committee in the School of Civil and Chemical Engineering, chaired by Dr. Nira Jayasuriya, organized the event at RMIT, with the cooperation of Professor Michael Stenstrom, UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Other UCLA participants, from the same department, were Professors Keith Stolzenbach and Tom Harmon. The two-day event consisted of seven sessions, with sixteen lectures, a large panel discussion, a significant dinner speaker, and a summary and closure session. In addition to academics from RMIT University, UCLA, and also from Monash University in Melbourne, there were papers presented by professionals from some of the six major external supporters (Melbourne Water, Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the State of Victoria, GHD Management, Engineering, CDC for Water Quality and Treatment, AWA Australian Water Association, and Murray Darling Basin Commission). A special CD of the program and lectures was later prepared and distributed.

By all measures, the workshop was a great success. Over one hundred people participated, the quality of the presentations was very high, and there was significant discussion and audience participation. The subject is of major interest at the two universities, and of major importance for their communities. Good understanding has developed between the relevant academics at RMIT and UCLA, and a desire to continue cooperation in this field. A return conference at UCLA is being planned.