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Our research is saving South Australia’s most precious resource to make sure there is enough water for everyone. We’re collaborating with top scientists and researchers around Australia to find new ways of saving, accessing and delivering water. The outcome will be a better future for you and all South Australians.

The Millenium Drought clearly exposed the increased threat to the security of water supplies for communities, industry and the environment. South Australia's future economic growth and resilience is dependent on the provision of sustainable water supplies under a variable and changing climate.

This vital importance of water to the quality of life and the economic interests of the people of South Australia was recognised by the South Australian Government in establishing the Goyder Institute for Water Research in July 2010 and the development of a $50 million, five-year strategic research plan. Following a successful five years, the Institute's term was extended in the 2015-2016 State Budget for a further four years.

The Goyder Institute for Water Research is a partnership between the South Australian Government through the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), CSIRO, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia.

Since 2010, the Goyder Institute has established itself as an independent expert science advisor providing quality, evidence based knowledge on water management issues important for South Australia.

The Goyder Institute is committed to delivering the scientific knowledge needed for independent expert water management advice. This will ensure the Institute informs policy and decision-making, identifies future threats to water security and assists in an integrated approach to water management in South Australia and beyond.  


Why is it called the Goyder Institute?



George Woodroffe Goyder (24 June 1826 to 2 November 1898) was a surveyor in South Australia during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and was appointed Surveyor-General in 1861.

George Goyder observed the difference in vegetation type as a result of rainfall gradients as he traversed the state. He used this to set a limit beyond which cropping would be unsustainable. His predictions were highly unpopular at the time, but he proved to be right.

This line is now called “Goyder's Line” and was an early example in South Australia of science being used to inform policy.

To learn more about George Goyder click here.


Strategic Intent


The Goyder Institute will support world leading water resource management in South Australia through excellent science.

Strategic Research Plan 2020 - 2023


ANZSOG-Goyder Institute Visiting Professors program


In 2010, as part of the negotiations to create the Goyder Institute for Water Research Agreement , it was agreed that the Goyder Institute would co-fund the ANZSOG and Goyder Institute Chair of Public Policy and Management in collaboration with Flinders University.

The ANZSOG–Goyder Institute Visiting Professors Program (the Program) commenced in 2013 and concluded on 30 June 2015. 

The Program allowed issues relating to the management of Australia’s water resources to be addressed from a variety of perspectives, by professors, scholars and professionals with a range of skills and expertise. The term Visiting Professor is used to refer to any professor, scholar or professional who is appointed to the program regardless of their university or professional affiliation.

Each Visiting Professor developed and managed a research and/or engagement program addressing the public policy challenges of how finite resource use can be effectively managed through cooperation, with a priority focus on water policy and management. Appointees’ work contributes to the delivery of Flinders University, the Goyder Institute for Water Research and ANZSOG research priorities and align with the priorities of the South Australian Government.

The Visiting Professors were located at the Flinders University Victoria Square City Campus, placing them in close proximity to the Goyder Institute office and State Government partners. The appointees worked closely with ANZSOG, the Goyder Institute and its partners, and the Commonwealth Government. The Visiting Professors were also located and spent part of their time at the Flinders University Bedford Park Campus, allowing them to collaborate with other University staff including those from the Flinders Institute of Public Policy & Management (FIPPM), and the National Centre for Groundwater Research & Training (NCGRT).

Biographies of visiting professors 

Professor Steve Rayner

Professor Bruce Mitchell

Professor Barbara Cosens

Final reports

Professor Steve Rayner: Use And Usability of Weather and Climate Information in South Australian Water Management

Professor Bruce Mitchell: Evolving Regional, Integrated and Engagement Approaches for Natural Resources Management in South Australia

Professor Barbara Cosens: Application of the Adaptive Water Governance Project to the management of the Lake Eyre Basin and its connections to the Great Artesian Basin