Australia is leading an AU$16 million international research project on the protection of water supplies.
The project, launched on 11 August, will focus on why and when buried water pipes burst.
Jayantha Kodikara, an associate professor at Monash University, will lead the international research team, with partners from the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Newcastle.
The team will aim to develop cost-effective advanced condition assessment and failure prediction models that can evaluate pipes before they burst.
It will collaborate with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which will join the project in its next phase, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council (Canada) and the Water Environment Research Foundation.
The five-year project is funded by seven Australian water authorities, the US Water Research Foundation, and UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR).
Sydney Water, the largest urban water utility in Australia, is contributing AU$5.5m.
Other Australian funding has come from Hunter Water Corporation, South East Water, Melbourne Water, Water Corporation (WA), South Australia Water and City West Water.