Prof Malano has conducted research on various interdisciplinary aspects of water resources management including Modelling of water distribution networks, water allocation between competing uses at the catchment and river basin level, and urban water cycle modelling and management. Hector has conducted research into water demand modelling in the urban sector and the nexus between water and energy in urban and agricultural water supply and treatment. He has authored and co-authored over 180 publications and more recently has been awarded the Binennial Medal from the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ).
Hector has extensive involvement in international professional and research organisations. More recently, he concluded a 3-year term as Vice-President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. He has consulted for several international organisations including the World Bank, AusAID and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and UNESCO. He is currently joint Editor of the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage.