Our ability to understand, predict and manage complex Earth systems and dynamics is being transformed by a range of new high-resolution satellite, airborne, ground and borehole geophysical sensors, and supercomputing research infrastructure. These are complemented by novel mathematical and statistical approaches, including machine learning, that are critical for data acquisition, processing, fusion, analysis and quantitative modelling of Earth systems in a ‘big data’ environment. These advances in the research ecosystem are transforming science workflows, and are an important catalyst for significant science innovation through inter-and trans-disciplinary methods. These advances are already delivering important new insights into critical zone processes, including the crustal and mantle influences on Australia’s landscapes and hydrological systems. This talk will highlight how this new research ecosystem is being applied to the understanding of Australia’s hydrological systems and tectonic/landscape evolution more broadly, and will discuss some of the knowledge and research opportunities that will enable the re-envisioning of Australia’s water supplies.