Since first proposed nearly 80 years ago, Dr John Bradfield’s “nation building” 2000-km inter-basin water diversion scheme proposal has been a millstone around the necks of successive federal and state governments. So engrained is the scheme in the Australian psyche that drought in south-eastern Australia has become synonymous with calls for the schemes construction among a chorus of encouragement from high-profile Australians.

In 2020, the National Water Grid Authority commissioned Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to undertake a comprehensive analysis of Bradfield’s original scheme and modern-day variants to objectively assess the numerous claims and counter-claims of ‘Bradfield Scheme’ advocates and critics alike. In presenting the results of the analysis, this webinar will outline some of the novel methods that were developed for rapidly evaluating water storage and diversion infrastructure and highlight broad learnings, many of which are also applicable globally.

This special 75-minute webinar will be chaired by Water Research Australia's Jacqueline Frizenschaf, with key presentations from CSIRO's Cuan Petheram, Chris Stokes and water strategist Tom Vanderbyl. We will also have a large panel of experts ready to answer your questions in the background including; Jenny Hayward, Rebecca Bartley, Justin Hughes, Chris Chilcott, Kevin Devlin, Seonaid Philip and Arthur Read. Please see their biographies below.


Cuan Petheram


Cuan Petheram is a hydrologist and principal research scientist at CSIRO, Australia and was the project leader of the CSIRO Bradfield Scheme Assessment. He has a BEng from the University of Melbourne ... Read more

Chris Stokes


Dr Chris Stokes is a systems scientist with CSIRO at the Australian Tropical Science & Innovation Precinct, Townsville, Australia. He was recruited to CSIRO in 2000 to foster multi-disciplinary re... Read more

Tom Vanderbyl

Badu Advisory

Tom Vanderbyl has almost 40 years’ experience in water resources strategy, planning, policy, management and allocation. Based in Queensland, he provides strategic advice about regional, national and... Read more

Jacqueline Frizenschaf

Water Research Australia

Jacqueline has been in the water resources and water quality business for over 25 years. After completing degrees in hydrology and water resources engineering in Germany and the USA, her professional ... Read more

Jenny Hayward


Dr Jenny Hayward is a principal research scientist in CSIRO Energy. She leads research projects on technology cost projections and the models she has developed are used to project the cost of electric... Read more

Rebecca Bartley


Dr Rebecca Bartley is a Research Scientist with CSIRO Land and Water. Rebecca has experience in the fields of fluvial geomorphology and catchment hydrology. Her primary research interest has been the ... Read more

Justin Hughes


Justin Hughes is a Senior Research Hydrologist with CSIRO and has primarily been involved in water resource assessments across Australia over the past 10 years. He has B Ap. Sci. (Agriculture) , M.Ap.... Read more

Chris Chilcott


Dr Chris Chilcott is the CSIRO Land and Water Deputy Director and leads CSIRO’s work on developing Northern Australia based at the Darwin laboratory. He is responsible for facilitating strategic, mu... Read more

Kevin Devlin


Kevin Devlin runs a private consultancy specialising in providing high-level advice and design services to the water supply sector. He has over 40 years’ experience in the water industry.  For over... Read more

Seonaid Philip


Seonaid Philip has been a soil scientist with CSIRO for the last 10 years and prior to that 21 years with the Queensland Government based in Mareeba. Seonaid has extensive experience with traditional ... Read more

Arthur Read


Arthur Read is a research scientist at CSIRO and led the infrastructure modelling component of the CSIRO Bradfield Scheme Assessment. Arthur has worked at CSIRO since 2003 and has worked on a diverse ... Read more

Further details on the assessment of the Bradfield Scheme can be found on CSIRO’s website.

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