Karla Billington

Director and Principal Water Resource Management Consultant

Over the last 17 years, Karla has worked across a number of water resource related agencies – and as a consultant, is widely recognised as a key resource person regarding the application of the following national guidelines as they relate to catchment management:

  • National Water Quality Management Strategy;
  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines;
  • National Guidelines on Water Recycling;
  • Australian Guidelines for Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting;

Karla has been a lead developer of catchment water quality monitoring protocols and monitoring program design in South Australia. She is recognised as having a comprehensive appreciation of cross-agency water quality monitoring programs and network capabilities in the State and across other jurisdictions in Australia.

With a unique understanding of catchment processes, Karla has been called upon to provide advice to many projects focussing on significant water resource issues. A number of these have emerged as a consequence of the recent protracted drought experience across southern Australia – including those related to salinity, acid-sulphate soils and heavy metals mobilisation threats in the River Murray.

Karla is also the principal developer of the Catchment Risk Assessment methodology, which has been employed to identify risks to water supplies in a number of regions across Australia, including the Drought Catchment Risk Assessment for the (SA) River Murray. This framework has also been used for assessment of catchment risks to aquatic ecosystems in the Upper South East region, to underpin the development of the adaptive management system and environmental water quality monitoring program.

In a consulting capacity, Karla continues to be engaged to undertake landscape-scale risk analysis and mitigation planning projects across Australia. Widely recognised as a leading advisor on catchment water quality management, Karla has undertaken reviews of various aspects of water resource security for authorities around Australia.

Karla recently developed several advisory papers to the World Health Organisation regarding the implications of climate change to potable water supplies in regions around the globe; and was a key contributor to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment recently undertaken for the Central Local Government Region of Councils. Karla has also been engaged as an independent technical reviewer of major integrated water management plans and other water management policy documents.

Karla is a member of the Australia Water Association, and is on the committee supporting the Catchment Management Specialist Network.

Karla is recognised as a keen analyst, with an authoritative and widely respected understanding of catchment processes, environmental risk analysis, mitigation planning and water resource management.