Water is a fundamental input for much of the World’s food and fibre products, and agricultural demands on fresh water account for up to 80% of total use.
The importance of water in food and fibre production underpins the recent move by a group of water market researchers to join Global Food Studies. The group is led by Assoc. Prof Sarah Wheeler and includes Dr Alec Zuo and Dr Adam Loch; all previously based at the University of South Australia. Three PhD research students have also transferred with the group, and will now continue their studies at the University of Adelaide.
It is expected that adding water market research capacity to Global Food Studies will offer the opportunity for future projects, additional areas of interest for current projects, the development of further industry partnerships and potentially new teaching courses over time. Apart from standard economic analyses (e.g. pricing studies, elasticity and efficiency modelling, spatial analysis etc.) the water research group has a diverse set of interests including water market studies, environmental flow arrangements and incentives, climate change adaptation, drought management, rural health issues, farm decision-making, technology adoption and water valuations; just to name a few.
The group also currently holds two prestigious Australian Research Council Fellowships: Assoc. Prof Wheeler has a Future Fellowship studying transformational adaptation in the Murray-Darling Basin; and Dr Loch has a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) to quantify public water reform program transaction costs. These projects provide a major focus for current research being undertaken by the group, but they also often conduct consultation or contract research projects.
Having joined Global Food Studies the water market group is now focused on settling in and making progress on its major projects. But where time permits they are also happy to help other staff and students or contribute input and expertise as needed. And if there are students at the University interested in taking up water research projects, then they would be keen to hear from them too!
Welcome Sarah, Adam and Alec! GFS is extremely lucky to have the three of you!
For further information on the group please contact Dr Adam Loch (adam.loch[at]adelaide.edu.au)