Isotopes for Water Project 

IER Water_sampling_Macquarie_Marshes

Water sampling in the Macquarie Mashes, NSW, Australia.

The Isotopes for Water project was one of four key projects within ANSTO's former 'Institute for Environmental Research'. It included several research activities designed to provide decision makers with supporting information for better water resource management.


Human activities are critically increasing demand on water resources and, at the same time, escalating the input of pollutants into our waterways. Climate variability is also placing an additional burden on stressed water resources and associated ecosystems.


The Isotopes for Water project applies isotopic and nuclear techniques to provide valuable scientific knowledge that underpins effective management of groundwater and rivers, freshwater ecosystems, and the human activities that affect them. 


Key tasks

The Isotopes for Water project has three areas of focus:


  • Isotopes in the Hydrological Cycle- which examines the connectivity between surface and groundwater, groundwater ages and sustainable yields to improve rainfall-run off models,
  • Aquatic Ecosystems- which looks at the impacts of water management, land use and climate variability on the structure and function of wetland and river ecosystems, and;
  • Climate Variability and Water Resources- which uses natural climate archives and isotope-enabled models to assess the impacts of climate variability on catchment water resources. 



Suzanne Hollins (Project Leader)
Phone: +61 2 9717 3701