The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program (NWDMP), which commenced in August 2016, provides leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit drugs and licit drugs that can be abused, with a specific focus on methylamphetamine and other high risk substances.
Wastewater analysis is widely applied internationally as a tool to measure and interpret drug use within national populations. The Australian Government has recognised the considerable benefits of wastewater analysis and has partnered with established scientific expertise within Australian academic institutions to introduce a national program based on international models.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use and the level of use of a number of legitimate substances. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) received an additional $4.8 million over four years in the 2019 Budget to fund the NWDMP, building the program’s longitudinal data and delivering an additional twelve public reports until the first quarter of 2024.
On 28 October 2019, the ACIC signed a contract with The University of Queensland extending their involvement in the NWDMP for a further four years. This enables The University of Queensland, and through it the University of South Australia, to continue to undertake the data collection and analysis underpinning the program.