CommunityDamsDesignEarthworks & Earth ResourcesGeneralWater

Christmas Island Gets It’s First Dam

Transforming an old mining pit into a 5 million litre dam has proven to be quiet the mission and has required moving about 10,000 tonnes of soil. Considering we are moving 3 tonnes in a single scoop with a 30 tonne excavator it was eventually achievable. The dam has to be lined due to the geology of the island. Christmas Island is in the middle of the Indian Ocean of Western Australia. The Island is an old coral reef pushed 300 meters into the air by an under sea volcano a few million years ago.

Mark Bennett and Paul Taylor have been working on this 50 acre horticulture site for the past months and are getting ready to transform the site into a fresh food farm. Of course there is no production without the basics like water and sunshine, we have the sunshine so now we are prepared to collect the water.


The Christmas Island site is 50 acres and is the largest private holding on the Island with 60% of the island national park and 30% of the island and active phosphate mine. The initiative is to produce fresh food for the 2000 permanent residents there using organic high production horticulture techniques based in Trust Natures Bio-Vital system.


Christmas Island has a unique geology, as it is an upheaval of a coral reef with a volcano under it, it has collected phosphate for millions of years. Since the island was settled in 1900 there has been no significant farming to provide fresh food for its 2000 residents. Food is flown in from Perth at a cost of $7-$10 per kilo making a simple lettuce cost as much as $20. This project is intended to be a model for food security and for food sovereignty for many remote communities.

Paul Taylor is conducting a Living Soils for Vital Food with at PRI Australia in December. For more information or to book, please click here.

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