About us

We are the Water Research Laboratory (WRL) - a world-leading academic research and consulting laboratory that endeavours to tackle the most challenging and pressing water-engineering problems faced by the world today relating to water and the environment.

We aim to deliver world leading water engineering research that results in real positive impact on a global scale


Based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and part of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW, our globally-esteemed laboratory spans four hectares and is home to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and personnel comprised of the most experienced and creative problem solvers in their respective areas of research and industry.

Our expertise extends (but is not limited) to:

  • Estuarine, coastal and ocean hydrodynamics and sediment transport
  • Coastal zone monitoring, foreshore protection and management
  • River flow and floodplain management
  • Groundwater research and management
  • Civil engineering hydraulics
  • Catchment hydrology
  • Environmental studies and climate adaptation
  • Wetland restoration

Our prestigious record built over more than 50 years has made us what we are today, a leading global think tank. We’re a band of pioneers and experts driven by a passion to finding grand breakthroughs for a better tomorrow.

WRL organisational chart
Research at the Water Research Laboratory is undertaken by a team of highly experienced academic, professional and technical staff... More
WRL publications
For over 50 years WRL has produced a range of publications including books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers, technical & research reports; resulting in a large collection of very important publications... More