Dr Geoff Beeson has investigated how water is managed as far back as Ancient Rome.
He is the author of A Water Story: Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future to be published by the CSIRO next month.
Dr Beeson's extensive and independent research on water storage and management in Australia and overseas promises an interesting keynote address at a summit in Dubbo on January 30.
The theme of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana's Inland Growth Summit is The Future of Water.
Other speakers at the summit will include federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks and representative of NSW Farmers Xavier Martin.
RDA Orana's industry partner for the summit is Bridge Hub, established by the Blue River Group.
It is focused on "commercialising technology" for use by the Australian and global agrifood industries.
"Bridge Hub is an industry-led initiative that brings together the pillars of industry, research and government," Blue River Group co-chief executive officer and founder Craig Shapiro said.
"Our current focus is to uncover and fast-track solutions for water challenges across the agrisystem.
"Australia is not alone in facing water issues.
"Water scarcity is a universal problem being exacerbated by changes in our climate. We need to urgently find solutions.
"We are focused on finding tangible, practical solutions that can have an immediate positive impact both in Australia and around the world."
Dr Beeson, an honorary professor and former pro vice-chancellor of Deakin University, will outline the "highs and lows of water use practices in Australia".
"What I will be talking about is based on the book which describes my experience and research over a long period," he said.
"My topic area is focused on sustaining more conservation, the role of innovation and what we'd be looking at that has had an impact in the past including ancient and recent civilisation.
"We can learn from the past when we're looking to the future."
The summit's master of ceremonies will be former senator Fiona Nash, who is now Charles Sturt University's strategic adviser.
It will run from 9am to 7pm when "networking" will be possible.
The summit's four sessions are titled strategic, water for business, water for innovation and infrastructure.
Visit www.rdaorana.org.au/events/inland-growth-summit-2020/ for tickets.