Centre for Water Policy and Management

The Centre for Water Policy and Management (CWPM) is a Research Centre based in the La Trobe Business School. The Centre also forms part of the university-wide Research Focus Area dealing with Securing Food, Water and the Environment. The CWPM was constituted under the University's frameworks for research centres.

Aims and Objectives

The CWPM is an applied research organisation dedicated to improving our understanding of water policy and management choices and the impact of those choices on water users and the wider economy. The Centre is purposely multidisciplinary, because many of the trade-offs associated with different policies and management options are multi-dimensional. A hallmark of the CWPM is its ambition to synthesise and integrate research in a way that is useful to decision makers.

The main areas of interest to the CWPM are:


Water resources are increasingly the subject of policy and management challenges, in part because the water sector has matured and it is no simple matter to access additional water supplies. The task of dealing with increased competition for water resources is not unique to Australia – it is a global phenomenon. It is also the case that engineering ‘fixes’ for solving water shortages cannot be relied on to shore up existing water supplies. In addition, there are often major constraints around the translation of good water science into policy and management decisions.

Against this background it is imperative that policy makers and resource managers are well-informed and understand the consequences of different choices. It is thus important for decision makers to be presented with the type of information that can assist and clarify choices.

This task is made more difficult because the information about water resources is often held by disparate interests with differing disciplinary perspectives.


The CWPM focuses on producing knowledge that is accessible and relevant to the needs of policy makers and resource managers.

To this end, the Centre hosts an annual water forum that brings together practitioners and academics with an interest in water.

The activities of the Centre are also informed by an Advisory Committee that includes policy makers and resource managers. The outputs from the Centre's members often appear as accessible information in relevant scholarly journals.

Policy Impact

The Centre seeks to change water policy and management for the better. Some impacts arise through members' publications, commissioned research and the commentary provided on emerging policy issues and events.

For more information, please contact assc research