The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) will work with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to develop a Hydrologic Information System in an effort to improve water security for communities by developing hydrological tools to inform the design and operations of climate-resilient infrastructure.
An agreement worth $0.5 million FJD was signed today between WAF, the UNSW and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade to enable the water catchment modelling and resilience planning to begin in the coming months, within the Waimanu and Sigatoka river catchments.
Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services, and Transport, Ro Filipe Tuisawau acknowledged the funding support by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) as this would enable WAF to have a greater understanding of the river catchments as well as the impact on safe drinking water.
“This project aims to establish a cutting-edge hydrological model which can be used to simulate and can be continuously updated with the hydrological information stored in a cloud-based hydrographic information system.”
Tuisawau said that by establishing hydrological models for these catchments, WAF is able to better assess their water security, develop a risk assessment of their assets as well as better design future programs for river management.
“I am told that once the model of the catchments is completed, WAF would be able to put in place early warning systems to respond to high turbidity events caused by intense rainfall and will be able to better maintain its assets in the face of a changing climate,” Tuisawau said.
The project is funded through the New Zealand MFAT’s Pacific Infrastructure Technical Assistance Fund (PITAF).
The agreement signing was also attended by Deputy Deans from the University of New South Wales, Prof Rita Henderson and Prof Morri Pagnucco and Director of UNSW Global Water Institute Dr Greg Leslie as well as representatives from the New Zealand High Commission.