CSIRO to focus on Norfolk's water quality

Following my announcement last month about the Australian Government’s funding for the continuation of CSIRO’s Norfolk Island Water Resources Assessment (NIWRA) project, I am pleased to confirm the project’s expansion to include water quality investigation.

Earlier in June, the NIWRA team presented the water security findings to date to the Norfolk community and outlined future activities for the project, including how it will build our understanding of Norfolk Island’s water table through a study of cloud and sea fog interception by Norfolk pines and further analysis of woody weed extraction.

The Australian Government is committed to working with stakeholders including the Norfolk Island community to help improve water quality. Under the ongoing water project, the Australian Government is funding the CSIRO to:

  • expand the NIWRA monitoring program to include water quality data collection, monitoring, analysis and evaluation, in collaboration with Parks Australia and Norfolk Island Regional Council.
  • undertake targeted water quality studies to improve the understanding of potential risks to marine water quality and inform development of catchment management innovations
  • undertake an acid sulfate soils study, with these soils having significant impacts on aquatic ecosystems, infrastructure and agriculture.

The CSIRO NIWRA Community Steering Committee will continue, with regular public meetings over the coming two years to keep the community up to date on the progress and findings from this important work. If you would like to join the CSIRO’s NIWRA community email list, please email NIWRA project lead Dr Cuan Petheram on cuan.petheram@csiro.au.

More information about the NIWRA can be found at: https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/norfolks_island_water_resources_assessment_project.aspx

I encourage everyone to explore the excellent Rainwater Tank App (simulator) developed by the CSIRO and specific to Norfolk Island, available online at: https://nawra-river.shinyapps.io/raintank/ 

Hard copies of the final full technical and summary reports of the findings form the NIWRA are now available on-island at Customer Care and the Public Library.

Memory sticks with the reports and the LIDAR data are available from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication’s on-island team. Please contact 23315 if you would like to collect one.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
17 June 2021