Monash Progress Report 2021 – Goal 6
Monash University Progress Report 2021 on the Sustainable Development Goals
Ensure access for affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Providing clean water and sanitation View
Two billion people lack access to sanitation and/or clean water, leading to chronic gut infections, compromised nutrition, and impaired development. Through a ‘one health’ approach, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute is assessing and informing interventions to reduce these exposures. Professor Dena Lyras, an ARC Laureate Fellow, has dedicated her career to stopping anaerobic bacteria responsible for diarrhoea. Her team have revealed new insights into how clostridia persist in the environment as spores, invade the gut, and subvert the host response. In turn, she has used these insights to develop novel antimicrobials and immunotherapies.
Sustainable Water Treatment System View
Students from Monash Chemical Engineering have used the natural water treatment cycle found in nature as inspiration to develop a sustainable, stand-alone water treatment system that removes persistent organic pollutants from industrial wastewater.
Indigenous Water View
The innovative Repairing Memory & Place: An Indigenous-led approach to urban water design research project received Australian Research Council funding in 2021, to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing with urban water management. The project aims to provide significant benefits by enabling the repair of ecological and cultural memory of place and enabling government agencies to apply Indigenous practices to everyday management of urban water towards a more sustainable water future.
The project is supported by an interdisciplinary team from Monash University, Melbourne Water, Museums Victoria, Bayside City Council, City of Port Phillip, and Boon Wurrung Foundation, and will sit within Monash University's Faculty, Wominjeka Djeembana Lab.
2021 Publications Performance View
Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 1.22
Number of Monash Research Outputs: 126
Unit statistics and highlights View
In 2021, 81 units directly related to SDG6 were offered across Monash University, with a total enrolment of 4,214 students.
The units highlighted below are a small sample of the units at Monash relating to clean water and sanitation:
MSDI Water View
MSDI Water is driving industry-led research, partnerships and innovation in water systems, water sensitive transformations, planetary health, community empowerment and circular economy. The research group is influencing the global and local SDG agenda by building industry, government and community capacity. And they’re impacting policy and practice through large scale transdisciplinary research and research translation, while also building a global understanding of water system transformations.
Citarum Living Lab View
The Citarum Program is using Monash’s deep expertise and capabilities in water-sensitive solutions to address pollution in the Citarum River in West Java, Indonesia. Monash University and Universitas Indonesia are partnering with the Indonesian Government, communities, local NGOs, and the global research community to develop innovations that deliver improved water and waste services, and revitalise the community, economy and environment. By co-designing new infrastructure, behaviour programs, business models and institutions, our aim is to help communities move away from dumping or discharging waste into the environment, and shift towards circular solutions that recycle, remanufacture and reuse waste.
In 2021 the Victorian Government awarded the Program a grant to establish a ‘living lab’ to address pollution in the river. The grant is enabling the Program to establish an international consortium to use the living lab as a platform to translate research into real-world impact. The living lab in the Citarum basin is a place-based initiative, where we will collaborate with our partners and local villages to co-design an integrated urban model that addresses river contamination caused by lack of waste and sanitation infrastructure. The aim is to co-create waste and water solutions that incentivise new behaviours and practices, that act to restore and protect the river, and improve the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable riverine communities.
Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program View
The Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) program is utilising water sensitive technology innovation to transform quality of life across urban informal settlements in Indonesia and Fiji. Working with communities, governments, local leaders and partner institutions, RISE is co-designing location-specific solutions that integrate green infrastructure to strengthen the whole-of-life water and sanitation cycle.
Despite the ongoing challenges of Covid and natural disasters, in 2021 the RISE team was able to keep program momentum going to ensure on-the ground-implementation in 2022, as well as deliver a new training program utilising cutting-edge equipment for molecular analysis for Fijian and Indonesian RISE scientists, gain ISO9001 for its laboratories in Fiji and Indonesia, and produce a report series on water-sensitive informal settlement upgrading with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Indonesia.
Monash welcomes Water Sensitive Cities Australia View
In June 2021, following nine years of demonstrating new ways to design and deliver urban water services work in practice, the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) returned to Monash as Water Sensitive Cities Australia (WSC Australia). As part of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute'sWater program, WSC Australia is building on the immense legacy of the CRCWSC by mainstreaming the practices, policies and tools that support water sensitive cities.
In 2021, this included further development of the software and training framework for the Water Sensitive Cities Index, a benchmarking tool for mapping a city’s current urban water management performance, to enable it to reach a wider global audience and to spread its impact.
Building standards View
The Monash Design and Construction Standards include a number of requirements to reduce potable water use including efficient fixtures and fittings, drought-tolerate landscapes, and prioritising non-potable water options were possible. The Monash ECO ACCORD is a set of environmental design aspirations that all projects are required to target and includes a number of potable water minimisation requirements.
Potable water consumption View
In 2021 our water usage continued to reduced due to ongoing COVID lockdowns. We used 414,203 kilolitres (KL) of potable water or 6.27 KL/person. Based on 2019 data our water usage per person has reduced by 10 percent per person. As our stormwater harvesting increasing our potable water will continue to decline. The continued reduced staff and student load on campus due to COVID-19 restrictions resulted in a significant reduction in water use across most campuses.
Stormwater pollution View
The Grounds and Landscaping requirements of the Monash Design and Construction Standards places controls to ensure all construction activities are carried out in accordance with best practice guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Victoria, and Melbourne Water to minimise risk of stormwater pollution, from contaminated runoff of chemicals, sediments, or other associated construction refuse.
Water sensitive urban design View
Monash University campuses are preparing for water scarcity and flash flooding events as the campuses grow and develop. Our campuses are reducing their water demand and capturing stormwater to use as a water source to reduce the reliance on potable water. Our landscapes employ Water Sensitive Urban Design practices at a strategic scale to ensure that the campuses are purifying our water resources on campus, reducing peak damaging peak flow and maximising efficiency of our water harvesting systems and infiltration into our landscapes while also reinvigorating and reinstating natural waterway habitats. View our recent landscape projects.