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ARI named top global water security think tank

In a coup for Australia, Queensland and Griffith University, the Australian Rivers Institute has been named the number one think tank in global water security.

The 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has named the Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) at Queensland’s Griffith University as the number one global water security think tank.

Based on its ability to provide superior innovative research and strategic analysis on water security public policy, ARI was also recognised for its work promoting access to quality water to sustain livelihoods, health and socioeconomic development of people around the world.

ARI Director, Professor Stuart Bunn, said the institute was excited to be acknowledged in this way.

“We are thrilled to receive this international recognition of the institute’s research and efforts to work with industry, decision makers and the broader community to improve the management of our freshwater resources,” he said.

Discussing the ARI philosophy, Bunn explained that the institute brings a number of researchers from different backgrounds together to solve some of water’s biggest problems.

“The Australian Rivers Institute takes a source-to-sea philosophy to provide knowledge to support the rehabilitation, sustainable use and conservation of aquatic ecosystems,” he said.

“It brings together researchers from a range of science disciplines, including aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, soil science, climate and modelling, together with social sciences, resource economics and law.”

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania, researches the role that institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world, and bestows the award on the institute it believes does the best job.

The Global Go To Think Tank Index works by ranking a variety of think tanks in different categories. It is completed by a panel of more than 1790 peer institutions and experts from academia, public and private institutions, and governments, and is used by academics, journalists, donors and the public to connect with leading centres around the world.

ARI Deputy Director, Professor David Hamilton, said the recognition was amazing for the public profile of the institute, the university and Australia.

“Getting this recognition will increase the public profile of the Australian Rivers Institute and its work towards water security, and is the culmination of sustained work with NGOs, national and international funding agencies and philanthropic donors,” he said.

“Recognising the importance of water security and the development of new tools to improve water management have assured sustained growth of the institute over the past three years.”