Improving hydrological monitoring in Pacific nations

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NIWA hydrologists were recently in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, installing hydrological stations and training local staff in the installation and operation of equipment, and in data processing.

Hydrologists Andrew Willsman and John Fenwick installed a range of instruments  including rainfall, stream-level, and lake-level monitoring equipment. In some cases, we serviced and reinstated existing equipment; in others we installed new equipment. Local staff in both countries were involved in installing, testing, and commissioning the equipment, and will now be responsible for its operation.

Data collected is archived using NIWA’s Tideda software; our hope is that the data will be actively managed and contribute to better management of water resources in these islands.

Benefits of effective hydrological monitoring include better management of valuable water resources; for example assessing the potential for micro-hydro schemes which will reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Hydrological data collected long-term can also contribute to an improved understanding of climate variation.

The work is part of the ongoing Pacific HYCOS programme, and is funded by SOPAC.


Teaching Environmental Quality Protection Board staff how to operate a new tipping bucket rain gauge and data logger.  (Andrew Willsman)


Research Subject: 
Andrew Willsman, [email protected]





Research Subject: 
John Fenwick, [email protected]

John Fenwick (middle) teaching EQPB Palau staff how to measure flow in the Ngerikiil River, Palau, with a mechanical current meter. [Photo: Andrew Willsman]
Research subject: TsunamisWater Quality