Professor Don Bursill AM

Water management expert

SA State recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2011

Professor Don Bursill is an international leader and recognised expert in the field of water management and water quality. He has been at the forefront of the most important developments and decisions regarding potable water in Australia for the past 40 years. A key member of the Australian Water Association and the International Water Association, Don led the team that established the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Quality and Treatment. Under his leadership, the CRC became an internationally-respected water research establishment and the first stop for anyone requiring information about the drinking water industry in Australia. Don transformed the Australian water industry into an international leader in the field. He worked with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation which resulted in an international commitment to water quality. His work with German colleagues led to the transformation of an informal coalition of leading water agencies into the Global Water Research Coalition. Despite his international standing, Don has always given to the local community. His support and generous advice to volunteer members of the Onkaparinga Esturary Water Quality Group resulted in a $1 million wetland clean up of storm water entering the Onkaparinga River.