Dr Barnett has long experience of modelling water infrastructure projects worldwide, and in 2019 he provided technical reviews of international modelling in the WWDR 2020 “Water and Climate Change” report to the United Nations. He has been commissioned for feasibility modelling reviews by institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank. In New Zealand, completed projects include design of the 26km Tekapo canal with capacity of 120m3/s in generation mode and 60m3/s in pumped storage mode. He also designed control system flood rules for the Waikato River power cascade of eight dams, staged harbour development for the Port of Tauranga and Northport, and coastal flood management for Te Papa, the largest government building in the country.
All these projects have relied on his progressive development of the AULOS hydraulic modelling system, software which now has registered users in 35 countries.
He currently chairs the Flood Risk Management Technical Committee of the IAHR. That Committee is now investigating weak points in international engineering practice for the management of river and coastal flood risks through climate change in the 21st century.