Vanuatu Groundwater Investigation

Vanuatu Project Management Unit & ADB

Port Vila, Vanuatu

November to December 2018

Hydrogeological and water quality investigation services in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Groundwater Investigation

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) co-funded the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP). This project was delivered by the Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU) as the Implementing Agency (IA). One of the objectives of the PVUDP was to improve sanitation (septage) management for Port Vila. This led to the construction of a Septage Treatment Facility (STF) at Bouffa in 2017.

Axiom Water Technologies Pty Ltd was engaged by the VPMU and the ADB to deliver a groundwater and surface water quality investigation project in the area of the Bouffa STF.

Work Undertaken:

  • Active inclusion of local technical staff from Department of Geology and Mines and Department of Water Resources in the investigation and data interpretation work.
  • Investigated the hydrogeological characteristics beneath the STF site using geophysical techniques, to assess whether groundwater monitoring within the STF site was feasible.
  • Recommend appropriate drilling site(s) and configuration(s) for establishing groundwater surveillance below the STF to intersect suitable hydrogeological targets.
  • Developed a Conceptual Model of the hydrogeological characteristics of the site.
  • Documented the geophysical investigation findings and recommended strategy for future work.
  • Designed and implemented a Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP) to assess the quality of groundwater (where accessible) and nearby surface water for potential impacts from infiltration at the STF.
  • Worked in collaboration with and provide capacity building of Vanuatu’s Department of Water Resources (DoWR) and facilitate handover of the water quality monitoring program to them.


The final reports included conclusions regarding the site hydrogeological characteristics, recommendations for future work at the site and opportunities for increased capacity building of  ni-Vanuatu geologists, engineers and scientists as part of the work program.


















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