NT map victoria river resource assessment
Research and planning
Victoria River
Estimated cost
$6.3 million
Project status

This project is funded by the Australian Government ($6.3 million). Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.

Victoria River in the Northern Territory surrounded by trees.

With funding from our Science Program, the CSIRO is conducting water resource assessments in the Victoria River, Northern Territory.

Project overview

Water resource assessments provide information to help understand the benefits and constraints of water development and infrastructure decisions. This is especially important for considering further development in northern Australia.

With funding from our Science Program, the CSIRO is conducting water resource assessments in the Victoria River, Northern Territory. They are working with the Northern Territory Government, research partners and communities. This assessment is being undertaken alongside similar assessments for the Roper River and Southern Gulf Catchment. These assessments build on previous assessments from the Northern Australian Water Resources Assessment (NAWRA) project. The NAWRA project was funded by the Australian Government.

Goals of the assessment

Most rivers in northern Australia are unregulated. Current surface and groundwater allocations are small. Understanding what and where these resources are will support decisions on further development. The impacts of extracting water will also be identified. They also identify the types of development and associated risks. Indigenous rights, values, and development aspirations are also included in assessments.

The assessment will:

  • fill knowledge and data gaps on soil and water resources across the north of Australia including:
    • water availability
    • land suitability
    • existing uses
    • impacts of different types of development
    • scales of extraction
  • identify and evaluate water capture and storage options
  • assess commercial viability of irrigated agriculture and aquaculture opportunities
  • provide long-term knowledge base and legacy datasets.

The research will support broader Australian Government investment and policy decisions on developing northern Australia. It will also help support state and territory government water planning. It will assist the development of updated water resource plans to support more sustainable water allocation decisions and use in the region.

Environmental and cultural considerations

The assessment includes key activities to ensure environmental, social and cultural impacts are considered. Activities include:

  • identifying First Nations Peoples’ aspirations and water values
  • understanding trade-offs between water resource development and impacts on ecosystems, including freshwater species and habitats as well as coastal marine habitats that could be affected by changes in run-off.

About the Victoria River

The Victoria River is in the Victoria Bonaparte bioregion of the Northern Territory. It flows for 560km from the Judbarra / Gregory National Park to the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf in the Timor Sea. It has 56 waterways including the Camfield River, Wickham River, Battle Creek, Angalarri River, Gidyea Creek and Armstrong River.

Key project benefits

Local community
Natural environment

Learn more