Water Economics Professor wins 2023 SA Environment Award
Sarah Wheeler, Professor of Water Economics with the School of Economics and Public Policy, has been awarded the Jill Hudson Award for Environment Protection in the 2023 SA Environment Awards.
Professor Wheeler was nominated for efforts to encourage change in national water policy for the benefit of both South Australia and the entire Murray-Darling Basin system.
For more than a decade, Professor Wheeler has sought to change national water policy for the benefit of South Australia and the entire Murray-Darling Basin system.
Alongside her academic research, Professor Wheeler has engaged extensively on water policy with government and industry.
Of particular focus has been her work advocating for the most effective policy options to return water to rivers within the Basin. Advocating for increased buyback of irrigator entitlements is fraught with conflict, given the popular narrative about the socio-economic impacts of buybacks by major irrigator groups.
Taking such a stance in calling for water policy reform and being critical of politically-motivated water changes – along with the call for continued buyback of water entitlements – has caused conflict with politicians, irrigator lobby groups, and other water organisations.
Despite significant opposition, Professor Wheeler continues to provide top-level scientific expertise on the Murray-Darling Basin alongside her unwavering advocacy for our country’s greatest Rivers.
The SA Environment Awards celebrated leaders working in nature protection, climate action, sustainability, and care for Country, and have been awarded annually since 1998.
The 2023 SA Environment Awards were presented by the Conservation Council in partnership with Green Adelaide, the Department for Environment and Water and the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute.
More information on winners and finalists of all award categories can be found here.