The overall objective of this project is to improve water security in atoll environments from projected impacts of climate variability and abstraction scenarios; supporting national, social, and economic development, and environmental protection into the future.


Specifically this project proposes to identify practical and technical management options which can be used by small island atoll states to improve their water security and resilience. There is a need to be able to quantify how much water is available for abstraction at different times, under different demands, as well as assessing the impact to the lens during periods of stress.


Groundwater assessments utilising geophysical, water-level and water-quality measurements will be undertaken to characterise the groundwater resources. The assessment results, along with the collection of site-specific information on rainfall and groundwater usage, will form the basis from which appropriate groundwater models will be developed, providing insight into the dynamics of the groundwater systems. 

The results from the groundwater modelling will be used to identify sustainable yield estimates for abstraction under different climate scenarios. The concept of sustainable yield will be explored with government agencies and the community through national advisory groups.


Expected Results

  • Improved understanding of atoll hydrogeology/hydrology

  • Application of sustainable yield in an atoll setting

  • Quantified impacts to freshwater lens through modelling

  • Adopted technical and management options for improved and sustainable freshwater supply


The research will be used to identify abstraction scenarios and management options which will optimise the abstraction potential under different climate scenarios. In conjunction with and through the use of advisory groups, it will identify what the physical and social constraints are preventing optimal abstraction. The resulting options will be incorporated into guidelines which will be made accessible through the Geoscience Division of SPC in the Pacific as well as in the Caribbean through the existing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) exchange network established between the two regions on Water and Climate.

Social and environmental considerations will be incorporated into the development of a concept of sustainable yield of the water resource with government, stakeholders and the community through the use of advisory groups, with an agreed range of values for abstraction applicable under different scenarios and considering the physical limitations of the resource.







Climate and Abstraction Impacts on Atoll enviroments


Water Lens Animation



Meetings and Trip Reports



Technical Working Group (TWG)