Map of Australia in blue.
Research and planning
Estimated cost
$1.7 million
Project status

This project is funded by the Australian Government ($1.7 million). Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.

Python Pool in the Pilbara region of WA, with water in the foreground and large gorge rocks and blue sky in the background.

Python Pool in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. The Pilbara Region will be part of a case study for the hydrogen project by CSIRO.

Project overview

The hydrogen industry is rapidly expanding. Like other resource development activities, water extraction and infrastructure needed for hydrogen development require assessment of potential environmental impacts.

This project will develop a rapid, nationally consistent approach for understanding water resources and wastewater management requirements needed to support sustainable hydrogen development. The project will then test this methodology on 3 regions across Australia that encompass different physical characteristics, geography and jurisdictions to provide a robust test of the hydrogen resource availability methodology.

Once water availability in areas projected to be regional hubs for hydrogen production have been investigated, the project will conceptualise the potential impacts of future hydrogen development on existing environmental, cultural, urban and industrial water users.

Goals of the assessment 

CSIRO will develop a methodology to test hydrogen water resource availability mapping. They will test this methodology on 3 case studies in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

The analysis includes:

  • green hydrogen – uses renewable energy for the electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen
  • blue hydrogen – uses natural gas as feedstock to product both hydrogen and CO2. Blue hydrogen can meet net zero emissions when the produced carbon dioxide is captured and permanently stored.

This project will contribute to a fundamental understanding of the available water and wastewater needed to support sustainable hydrogen development by:

  • mapping hydrogen resource availability (land, water, wastewater)
  • mapping potential impacts on water resources and other water users
  • publishing generalised causal models of potential impacts.

The CSIRO will undertake a detailed technical assessment of:

  • surface and groundwater resources available
  • how these may change over time (2030, 2035, 2040 and 2050 scenarios)
  • potential impacts of production.

Environmental and cultural considerations 

CSIRO will expand on the recent communication and engagement they have undertaken with stakeholders who live and work in the case study regions.

Key project benefits

First Nations access
Local community
Technology development
Water security

Learn more