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Library Subject Guides

Pacific and Pasifika: Vai / Wai / Wara / Water

Finding Journal Articles

Search Scopus for academic articles.

For articles written in NZ, search Index New Zealand

Search hint:  Search on the names of individual countries as well as using the term Pacific Islands.

Finding Books

Books containing information on water issues in the Pacific could be in either the EPS Library or the Macmillan Brown Library. Search the Library Catalogue to find them.


Find NZ theses and other research material at NZResearch.

News Articles

For news articles on water issues in the Pacific, search PINI.

Digital Pasifik

Discover and explore items of digitised Pacific cultural heritage at Digital Pasifik.



The Office of Hawai'ian Affairs. Ka Wai Ola, the journal of the OHA has a section on land and water.

The Hawai'i Community Foundation produced a Blueprint for Action on water issues.

We have two videos on indigenous water use and water rights in Hawai'i: Ahupua'a fishponds and lo'i and Kalo Pa'a o Waiāhole: Hard taro of Waiāhole

International Organisations

Pacific Community  (SPC)

Sinclair, P., Hebblethwaite, D., Antoniou, A., Loco, A. & Falkland, T. (2021). Small island food and water project SIFWaP: Preparatory study on water security and hydrololgy.

Sinclair, P., Loco, A., Falkland, T., White, I. & Bouchet, L. (2021). Synthesis report: Review of Nauru water and sanitation master plan.

Use the Search box to find other water security news and updates

Pacific Climate Change Portal

Search under e-Resources to find reports, videos and more.

Asian Development Bank.

Asian Development Bank. (2021). Pacific Urban update 2021.  This summarises water projects the ADB is involved in.

Asian Development Bank (2020). Asian water development outlook 2020: Advancing water security across Asian and the Pacific.

Pacific Research Methodologies

Some Publications by Pasifika Authors

Here is a selection of publications by Pasifika authors. For more articles, search the databases on the left.

Water in Pacific Cultures

Vai film- available on DVD from the Central Library or streaming on Kanopy.

Efi, T. T. T. (2018). Water and the Samoan indigenous reference. In T. M. Suaalii-Sauni, I Tuagalu, T. N. Kirifi-Alai, & N. Fuamatu (Eds.), Su’esu’e manogi: In search of fragrance: Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi and the Samoan indigenous reference (2018 ed., pp. 263-272). Huia Publishers.  Also available online.

Fa'atonu, L. V. (1997). Samoa ne'i galo. (Vol. 2). Dunelm Print. See: Water or 'lei', pp. 55-62. (Proverb: "Ua mele le vai o le tagaloaalagi"/ "The waters of Tagaloaalagi were rejected").

La Valle, F. F., Camvel, D. A. K., Thomas, F. I. M, Hokulani, K. A., & Lemus, J. D. (2019). Interdisciplinary research through a shared lexicon: Merging ‘Ike kupuna and western science to examine characteristics of water. Hūlili, 11(1). 

Macpherson, C.,& & Macpherson, L. (2017). Culture and the commodification of water in Samoa. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58(1), 86-98.

Sproat, D. K. (2010). Water. In C. Howes, & J. Osorio (Eds.) The value of Hawai’i: Knowing the past, shaping the future (pp. 187-194). University of Hawai’i Press.  (Includes a song on the source of water, a discussion of indigenous Hawai’ian relationship with water and current issues with groundwater.)

Wagner, J. R. & Jacka, J. K. (Eds.). (2018) Island rivers, fresh water and place in Oceania. ANU Press. 

Water Governance

Apelu-Uili, T. (2015). Working together as one? Exploring the implementation and community perceptions of catchment management in Samoa. [Master’s thesis, University of Canterbury.] UC Research Repository

Macpherson, C.,& & Macpherson, L. (2017). Culture and the commodification of water in Samoa. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58(1), 86-98.

Meredith, M. (2012). The right to water: A rural community-managed scheme in Samoa [Masters thesis, University of Auckland].

McGinn, A., & Solofa, A. (2020). Multi-level governance of climate change adaptation: A case study of country-wide adaptation projects in Samoa. In W. L. Filho (Ed.) Managing climate change adaptation in the Pacific region (pp. 231-253). Springer International Publishing.

Nelson, S., Abimbola, S., Mangubhai, S., Jenkins, A., Jupiter, S., Naivalu, K., Naivalulevu, V., & Negin, J. (2021). Understanding the decision-making structures, roles and actions of village-level water committees in Fiji. International Journal of Water Resources Development. 

Paea, A. M. T. S. (1997). Participation as a human right is key to solving water problems in Tonga [Master’s thesis, Massey University, New Zealand]. Massey Research Online.

White, I., Falkland, T., & Kula, T. (2020). Meeting SDG6 in the Kingdom of Tonga: The mismatch between national and local sustainable development planning for water supply. Hydrology, 7(81), 81.

Water Catchment Issues

Faiilagi, S. A. (2015). Assessing the impacts of land use patterns on river water quality at catchment level: A case study of Fuluasou River Catchment in Samoa. [Masters’ thesis, Massey University].

Loco, R. A. (2011). Hydrogeology of the Middle Sigatoka Valley, Southwest Viti Levu, Fiji [Masters' thesis, University of Canterbury].

Tiareti, A. A., & Mahmood, B. (2019). Sea Level Rise Impact on Underground Freshwater Lens : A Case Study. Proceedings of Water New Zealand (pp. 1-19).

Tufui, L. (2020). Water Supply for Tongatapu; Past, Present and Future [Masters’ Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington].

Hydrological Extremes

Fa’anunu, J. (2017). Adaptation to water scarcity in the context of climate change: A Case Study of the Nuku’alofa and Hihifo Districts, Tongatapu [Masters’ Thesis, University of Waikato].

Harley, P., & Samanta, S. (2018). Modeling of inland flood vulnerability zones through remote sensing and GIS techniques in the highland region of Papua New Guinea. Applied Geomatics, 10(2), 159-171.

McMichael, C., Katonivualiku, M., & Powell, T. (2019). Planned relocation and everyday agency in low‐lying coastal villages in Fiji. The Geographical Journal, 185(3), 325-337.

Pearce, T., Currenti, R., Mateiwai, A. & Doran, B. (2018). Adaptation to climate change and freshwater resources in Vusama village, Viti Levu, Fiji. Regional Environmental Change 18, 501–510.

Varo, J., Sekac, T., & Jana, S. K. (2020). Flood hazard micro zonation from a geomatic perspective on VitiLevu island, Fiji. International Journal of Geoinformatics, 16(3), 37-47.

Land Use and Water Pollution

Albert, S., Deering, N., Tongi, S., Nandy, A., Kisi, A., Sirikolo, M., Maehaka, M., Hutley, N., Kies-Ryan, S., & Grinham, A. (2021). Water quality challenges associated with industrial logging of a karst landscape: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 169, 112506-112506.

Albert, S., Kvennefors, C., Jacob, K., Kera, J., & Grinham, A. (2017). Environmental change in a modified catchment downstream of a gold mine, Solomon Islands. Environmental Pollution, 231(1), 942-953.

Carpenter, C., & Lawedrau, A. (2002). Effects of forestry activities on surface water quality in the Pacific region: A case study of the Rewa river catchment, Fiji Islands. The International Forestry Review, 4(4), 307-309. (note date of article)

Waterloo, M. J., Schellekens, J., Bruijnzeel, L. A., & Rawaqa, T. T. (2007). Changes in catchment runoff after harvesting and burning of a Pinus Caribaea plantation in Viti Levu, Fiji. Forest Ecology and Management, 251(1), 31-44.

Contact Us for Help

Pacific Liaison Librarian

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Caroline Syddall
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