Professor Andrew Western

  • Room: Level: 04 Room: 406
  • Building: Engineering Block D
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Catchment Hydrology
  • Catchment water quality
  • Groundwater Hydrology

Personal webpage


Professor Andrew Western has more than twenty-five years experience in catchment and waterway research, teaching and consulting. He has worked as a researcher for the Centre for Environmental Applied Hydrology, Technical University of Vienna, The CRC for Catchment Hydrology and eWater CRC. He is now the deputy Head of Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He completed his PhD over the period 1991-1994 on hydraulic and hydrologic modelling to support environmental flow management in the Wimmera River. Prof Western has expertise in field experimentation, physically-based and conceptual catchment and river modelling, catchment analysis and remote sensing and has concentrated on integrating these areas to support catchment system understanding and management. He has undertaken major field programs in Australia and New Zealand investigating catchment behaviour and has made leading contributions to spatial analysis in hydrology, particularly in the area of spatial soil moisture variability, patterns and processes. 

A range of active collaborations with industry allow Prof Western to maintain the industry relevance of his work. These include projects concentrating on estuarine management, groundwater resources, catchment monitoring, water resources management and, through eWater CRC, catchment and stream water quality. He has contributed to development of the a variety of catchment and water models, models of salinity stratification in inland rivers and is currently working on water quality, groundwater analytics, flood modelling, and understand and predicting the impacts of prolonged drought and climate change on catchment response. In addition to his research and consulting work, Prof Western teaches surface hydrology, earth processes and environmental modelling and supervises a number of PhD students.

You can find his publications on my ResearcherID page:

Recent publications

  1. Wang C, Shi G, Wei Y, Western A, Zheng H, Zhao Y. Balancing Rural Household Livelihood and Regional Ecological Footprint in Water Source Areas of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. SUSTAINABILITY. MDPI AG. 2017, Vol. 9, Issue 8. DOI: 10.3390/su9081393
  2. Wei J, Wei Y, Western A. Evolution of the societal value of water resources for economic development versus environmental sustainability in Australia from 1843 to 2011. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS. Elsevier Science. 2017, Vol. 42. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.12.005
  3. Peterson T, Western A, Cheng X. The good, the bad and the outliers: automated detection of errors and outliers from groundwater hydrographs. Hydrogeology Journal. Springer Verlag. 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s10040-017-1660-7
  4. Su C, Peterson T, Costelloe J, Western A. A synthetic study to evaluate the utility of hydrological signatures for calibrating a base flow separation filter. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 8. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018177
  5. Saft M, Peel M, Western A, Perraud J-M, Zhang L. Bias in streamflow projections due to climate-induced shifts in catchment response. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 43, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067326
  6. White E, Peterson T, Costelloe J, Western A, Carrara E. Can we manage groundwater? A method to determine the quantitative testability of groundwater management plans. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018474
  8. Alvarez-Garreton C, Ryu D, Western A, Crow WT, Su C, Robertson DR. Dual assimilation of satellite soil moisture to improve streamflow prediction in data-scarce catchments. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 7. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018429
  9. Perera KC, Western A, Robertson DE, George B, Nawarathna B. Ensemble forecasting of short-term system scale irrigation demands using real-time flow data and numerical weather predictions. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018532
  10. Saffarpour S, Western A, Adams R, McDonnell JJ. Multiple runoff processes and multiple thresholds control agricultural runoff generation. HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES. Copernicus GmBH. 2016, Vol. 20, Issue 11. DOI: 10.5194/hess-20-4525-2016
  11. Su C, Costelloe J, Peterson T, Western A. On the structural limitations of recursive digital filters for base flow estimation. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018067
  12. Saft M, Peel M, Western A, Zhang L. Predicting shifts in rainfall-runoff partitioning during multiyear drought: Roles of dry period and catchment characteristics. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 12. DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019525
  13. Fowler K, Peel M, Western A, Zhang L, Peterson T. Simulating runoff under changing climatic conditions: Revisiting an apparent deficiency of conceptual rainfall-runoff models. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. American Geophysical Union. 2016, Vol. 52, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018068
  14. Lintern A, Webb J, Ryu D, Liu S, Bende-Michl U, Leahy P, Wilson P, Western A. Using a data-driven approach to understand the interaction between catchment characteristics and water quality responses. 8th Australian Stream Management Conference (ASM). River Basin Management Society. 2016. Editors: Vietz GJ, Flatley A, Rutherfurd I.
  15. Womera S, Costelloe J, Peterson T, Western A. A synthetic study to characterize alluvial groundwater responses to overbank flood recharge. 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM) held jointly with the 23rd National Conference of the Australian-Society-for-Operations-Research / DSTO led Defence Operations Research Symposium (DORS. MODSIM2011. 2015. Editors: Weber T, McPhee MJ, Anderssen RS.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile