John Williams (water scientist)

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For other people named John Williams, see John Williams (disambiguation).
John Williams

John Williams (FTSE)[1] is an Australian scientist whose life work has been in the study of hydrology and the use of water in the landscape and farming, including land salinity.

His story was told in part on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV documentary series, Australian Story, on 6 June 2005.[2]


John Williams, the scientist, is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, in creating a rational debate on Australia's water resources.

He was Chief of the Division of Land and Water, CSIRO (Australia's premier government research organisation), in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, when he retired in 2004. He served earlier at the CSIRO laboratries at Townsville in Queensland where, among other things, he studied the Great Artesian Basin and the transport of water from the Great Dividing Range into the outback of Queensland and New South Wales.

He also served as Adjunct Professor in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management at Charles Sturt University, and Chief Scientist and Chair of the New South Wales Department of Natural Resources’ Science and Information Board.

Williams was also Commissioner of the New South Wales Natural Resources Commission[3][4]

Media comments[edit]

In a front-page, feature article in the Canberra Times on 2009-07-07, John Williams was reported[3] saying there should be a 60 percent cut in water use across the Murray-Darling Basin, and the Snowy Mountains Scheme that diverts water to the Riverina should not be exempt from water savings.

In 2012, Williams has been interviewed for commentary on the Murray-Darling Commission report.[5]

Current Activities[edit]

Williams is, as of 2012:



Williams grew up on a family farm in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales. He attended school in Queanbeyan near Canberra, before attending university in Sydney.


  1. ^ a b ATSE Fellows, AATSE
  2. ^ transcript, Australian Story, 6 June 2005, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  3. ^ a b When the rivers don't run, Rosslyn Bebby, Canberra Times, page 1, feature article, 2009-07-07, accessed 2009-07-08 (print version had more detail)
  4. ^ Commissioners and executives profile
  5. ^ a b Draft Murray plan: Tony Burke, AB Radio National "Breakfast", 12 April 2012
  6. ^ Research associates - John Williams, Centre for Water Economics, Environment & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

External links[edit]