An Australian scientist working on integrated solutions for irrigated catchments at a local and international level has been chosen to fill a new professorial chair to work on critical research into land and water management in the Murray Darling Basin.
Jointly funded by Australia’s premier scientific organisation, CSIRO, and lead regional university, Charles Sturt University (CSU), Dr Shahbaz Khan has been appointed as the new Professor of Hydrology.
Research Director of CSIRO Land and Water’s Sustainable Irrigation Systems (SIS) Research Directorate, Professor Khan has led research into modelling and managing the environmental and economic futures of irrigation areas.
Since joining CSIRO Land and Water, he spearheaded United Nations recognition of the research work of the team at CSIRO Land and Water’s Griffith laboratory.
UNESCO – the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation – named the region as the world’s first global reference basin for its hydrological research and its stakeholder relationships, under its HELP (Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy) program. UNESCO last year appointed Professor Khan and the SIS group regional coordinator for the Australasian region, ensuring their work in the Lower Murrumbidgee River catchment will help the world’s poorest nations focussing on the “water for food” and “water and environment” issues.
With a background in civil engineering, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and environmental law Professor Khan has worked in the UK, Pakistan, China and Australia dealing with a range of issues in surface and groundwater hydrology. He has interests in the creation and presentation of educational tools for farmers, irrigation managers and other stakeholders.
“Professor Khan’s move to this joint CSIRO Land and Water-CSU appointment will ensure a collaborative, focused and practical approach to research into water management in the Murrumbidgee catchment and internationally,” CSIRO Land and Water Chief Dr Rob Vertessy said.
“Professor Khan joins a high profile research team of international scientists who will lead CSU’s research efforts into how we can better manage our water resources in this country, especially within the fragile ecosystems of the Murray Darling Basin,” said CSU Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter.
The research team includes Kath Bowmer, Professor of Water Policy (also jointly funded by CSIRO Land and Water) and chairs in Integrated Environmental Management and Irrigation.