Living Water: 75 years of water research at UNSW

This exhibition reflects, celebrates and reaffirms UNSW’s commitment to the stewardship of the planet’s marine, freshwater and urban water ecosystems.


8 July - 15 November 2024


Level 5 Main Library
Ground Level Law Library
Art & Design Paddington Library


Project partner:

UNSW Global Water Institute


Funding support:

Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture
Faculty of Business
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Law & Justice
Faculty of Science
UNSW Library

Water is an ancient, living thing. It has cycled through the atmosphere, soil, oceans, and bodies for billions of years – shaping the land, creating habitats, and sustaining life. As a crucial resource covering over 70% of the planet’s surface, water is at the centre of every community, holding social, economic, and cultural importance. Extreme shifts in water patterns, from floods to droughts, disrupt an ecosystem’s delicate balance and impact the interconnected relationships among all forms of life. Yet, water remains adaptable and resilient. Despite growing threats posed by pollution, misuse, and climate change, researchers remain committed to discovering solutions to safeguard our marine, freshwater, and urban water systems. 

Living Water: 75 years of water research at UNSW connects water research across various environments and disciplines. From seagrass reforestation to aquafarming, hydrology to art, this research speaks to the multitude of ways water shapes existence and impacts survival. By drawing together breakthrough studies, technological innovations, and community engagement efforts, we gain insight into how scientists, engineers, artists, and researchers address complex challenges related to the stewardship of the planet’s water systems. Living Water highlights significant contributions made by UNSW toward water governance and security, the support of healthy oceans and resilient coastlines, ensuring safe and equitable access to water, and sharing the knowledge we need to protect this vital resource into the future.

In celebration of UNSW's 75th anniversary, this exhibition is a collaboration between UNSW Library and UNSW Global Water Institute with funding support from the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, Faculty of Business, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Law & JusticeFaculty of Science, and UNSW Library.

Header Image: Operation Crayweed. Photographer: John Turnbull.

Accessibility: UNSW Main Library, Law Library, and Paddington Library are wheelchair accessible. Large-text artwork labels are available.

Events from this exhibition

Opening event

The opening event will be held in the Exhibition Space, Level 5, Main Library.

Wednesday 10 July 2024, 5pm - 7pm.

RSVP for the event

Image: Operation Crayweed. Photographer: John Turnbull