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Faculty of Science and Technology

Water engineering

The activities in water engineering research extend from traditional water supply and wastewater hydraulics through to surface water, coastal and estuarine hydrodynamics.

We aim to create and apply new technologies in the Northern Territory for planning and managing a sustainable water environment by adopting the latest methods in hydroinformatics, ecohydraulics, modelling and measurement.

We believe it is important that civil engineers fully integrate with all the disciplines which have an interest in the water environment to realise the best and most sustainable solutions for the built and managed environments.

Research Coordinator: Prof Charlie Fairfield.

Current research projects

Effluent dispersion modelling in Darwin Harbour

Computational hydrodynamic and water quality models are being applied to the Darwin Harbour outfalls to simulate the fate of the effluent and create an improved understanding of the mixing processes in this macro-tidal and relatively un-impacted tropical estuary.

This project is funded by the Power and Water Corporation.

Environmental and cultural water requirements: risk and resource assessment

This project is funded by the Natural Heritage Trust and will provide information on the water requirements for aquatic ecosystems and groups with a cultural interest in those environments.

A review and risk assessment of water requirements across the NT will enable the prioritisation of water resource planning effort. Environmental and cultural water requirements will be determined for the two Water Control Districts in the Darwin-Katherine Region.

The project will focus on where water resource development pressures are greatest: the Katherine and Howard Rivers.


CDU environmental experts will lead a major research team as part of an $8 million national initiative focusing on Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRACK).

The TRACK research hub, to be hosted at CDU Casuarina campus, will bring together over 50 leading tropical river and coastal researchers and managers from 10 agencies across Australia to focus on the sustainability of rivers and catchments from Cape York to Broome.

We will play a role in the hydrodynamic modelling of various sites in this exciting programme.<

Tropical Rivers Hydrology

This project will investigate the important interactions of surface and groundwater in rivers of the Northern Territory. This project is in collaboration with the NT government and is led by Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd.

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