In 2019, the CSIRO was engaged by the department to assess Norfolk Island's surface and groundwater resources and options to increase water security. The assessment was part of the Norfolk Island Water Resource Assessment (NIWRA) project, with the information helping inform government and community actions to build water resilience, individually and collectively.
The first part of the NIWRA is complete and summarised in a full technical report and summary report.
In response to the findings, the department requested the CSIRO continue monitoring surface and groundwater resource supplies, and further investigate two issues impacting on water security: woody weeds and cloud interception.
- The continued groundwater resource monitoring will help us build a better understanding of water availability on Norfolk Island over time.
- The woody weeds work includes GIS mapping of four woody weed species: Red guava, Hawaiian holly, African olive, and Cotoneaster. This mapping can assist in the management of woody weeds across the island.
- The cloud interception study is summarised in a short report, and detailed in a longer publication.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data, as well as a rainwater app, were developed by the CSIRO specifically for residents and businesses on Norfolk Island. The rainwater app enables users to evaluate the reliability of existing and proposed roof-harvested rainwater systems (catchment and storage).
All completed outputs from the CSIRO NIWRA project are available on the links below.
The NIWRA now also includes a focus on water quality. CSIRO have been engaged to set up a water quality monitoring program, identify water quality targets and provide information to support catchment management planning in Kingston. The latter includes acid sulfate soils investigations. This component of the NIWRA will help us understand how to make improvements to water quality on Norfolk Island and ultimately reef health. Reports will be available from late 2023.