Vulnerability of Groundwater to Climate Change Impacts in Timor-Leste


Timor-Leste's water security is heavily dependent on groundwater resources that are sensitive to climate change. With Timor-Leste's groundwater supplies likely to become increasingly vulnerable to shortages and seawater intrusion with changes in rainfall patterns and sea-level rise, it is critical that safe and reliable water is maintained for communities and industries.

Groundwaters were sampled from local spring and bores with training provided to local water officers. The quality and quantity of water wasmeasured for use by communities, agriculture and industry

Sampling of local groundwater supplies
in Timor-Leste

Geoscience Australia has worked with the Government of Timor-Leste's National Directorate for Water Resource Management (DNGRA) and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (BESIK) to:

  • Assess the vulnerability of groundwater supplies to climate change impacts
  • Develop a national hydrogeological framework outlining how to collect, analyse, map and monitor groundwater
  • Map aquifers and help improve development planning
  • Implement training programs for monitoring and analysing groundwater data and maps

The project was an Australian Government initiative under the Pacific Adaptation Strateqy Assistance Program, administered by the Department of the Environment.

The project findings were communicated to local field officers and Timor Leste Government representatives on behalf of the Australian government. Reports and maps were translated to local Tetum and presented throughout the project

Training local water managers and
engagement with Timor-Leste
government agencies


  • Water agencies in Timor-Leste have improved knowledge and skills for monitoring and management of groundwater resources
  • Regional awareness and understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on groundwater resources is increased


Major outputs from the project include the first ever National Hydrogeological Map of Timor-Leste; a National Groundwater Monitoring Field Guide; Catalogue of datasets; GIS training methods; short videos; and on-site training to facilitate the ongoing monitoring of groundwater in Timor-Leste.

The first Hydrogeology Map of Timor-Leste was produced for the Timor Leste Government. Training was provided on the maps construction and its use for future water management.

National hydrogeology map of

Geoscience Australia has published all the Timor-Leste groundwater project outputs including a series of short videos: