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The Australian National University

COST-ANU workshops

1st COST-ANU Workshop January 2009, Brussels

The aim of the 1st workshop was to develop a comprehensive understanding of how energy and water are related, where trade-offs exist, how we can measure and manage those trade-offs and, ultimately, how we can make better decisions in the energy and water sectors. Fifty participants from Europe, the United States, China, India, and Australia participated in the three day workshop, and Dr Cathy Wilson from the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory delivered the Keynote presentation.

The workshop was facilitated by three Chairs:

  • Jamie Pittock: Scale and Institutions
    Australian National University and WWF
  • Trevor Bishop: Data - Sources, Needs and Accessibility
    UK Environment Agency
  • Henrik Larsen: Governance, Regulation and Management
    DHI Water Policy

There were three main outcomes from the workshop: a list of policy recommendations to enable better decision-making by policy-makers and business alike (written and endorsed by the participants); the identification of four research projects to pursue funding for; and the establishment of an energy-water network to be hosted by the ANUWI.


COST Action Proposal

Immediately after the workshop, a number of the participants pulled together a proposal for a COST Action, which, if successful, would see the network pursue four key deliverables:

  1. The development of decision-support tools to assist policy-makers in planning, including an open-source model that integrates energy-water relationships and qualitative impacts on the agricultural sector. 
  2. An education and training curriculum for professionals and, particularly, early-career scientists that will provide new approaches to understanding complex adaptive systems and equip professionals with theoretical and applied approaches to better understand and manage cross-sectoral interactions.
  3. The establishment of an international network of experts to maximize the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and ensure a comprehensive approach to existing and on-going research activities. Short-term scientific missions will be an important tool in this knowledge transfer.
  4. An international conference at the end of the Action to disseminate, discuss and exchange the research results to the broader academic and policy communities.

The COST Action would be supported by €400k ($800k) over four years.

The COST Action proposal was convened by Dr Karen Hussey (ANU) and Dr Adriana Hulsmann (KWR Research, The Netherlands) and the members of the team are:

  • NL: Arjen Hoekstra & P.W.Gerbens-Leenes, University of Twente, Albert Schram, University of Maastricht, Frans Schulting, Global Water Research Coalition
  • UK: Andy Howe & Trevor Bishop, UK Environment Agency, Kerry Thomas, University of Oxford
  • SW: Gustav Olsson, Lund University
  • ES: Angeles Blanco & Carlos Negro, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Anna Osann, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  • G: Dionysis Assimacopoulos, National Technical University of Athens
  • BE: Gema Sanbruno, European Small Hydropower Association, Mateo Cordier, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • IT: Giampero Maracchi & Simone Orlandini, University of Florence
  • F: Gilles Negro, Office International de L’Eau
  • DK: Henrik Larsen, DHI Water Policy
  • CH: Thomas Brenauer, ETH Zurich
  • IL: Itay Fishendler, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Non-COST participants:

  • US: Fred Hauchman, US EPA, Cathy Wilson, Los Alamos National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, Amy Hardberger, Environmental Defenders Office, Carey King & Michael Weber, University of Texas
  • RSA: Jo Burgess, Water Research Commission
  • AUS: Jamie Pittock, Australian National University, Debborah Marsh, University of Technology Sydney
  • CN: Xingshu Zhao, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


2nd COST-ANU Workshop June 2009, Brussels

A second, smaller workshop was convened in June, in Brussels, with the aim of publishing 8-10 case studies from around the world, which, together, highlight the complexity of the climate-energy-water-food (…) interactions and which identify where better integrated policy and management strategies and solutions are needed or available. The case studies and authors span the globe and provide the necessary breadth and diversity to cover the issues. Almost all of the authors were present at the first workshop. The case studies will be published in a special issue of a journal, edited by Karen Hussey and Jamie Pittock.

More details on the COST website.


For further details on this initiative, please contact Dr Karen Hussey at:

University partner:



COST is an intergovernmental European framework for international cooperation between nationally funded research activities. COST creates scientific networks and enables scientists to collaborate in a wide spectrum of activities in research and technology. COST Activities are administered by the COST Office.


Updated:  7 March 2011/Responsible Officer:  ANUWI Co-Chair /Page Contact:  Crawford Webmaster