Koror, Palau, Monday April 23rd 2011: Palau’s President, Johnson Toribiong, endorsed his country’s first National Water Policy this week saying that it “will serve as a clear indicator and important guide for our nation's future economic and sustainable development based on clean and safe water that is essential for the health of our people, ecosystem and economy.”
The policy aims to protect and conserve Palau’s water resources, ensure Palauans have access to safe, affordable, sustainable water supply and wastewater services, and see that these services are managed and operated sustainably and effectively.
The National Water Policy was developed by Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism in partnership with a European Union funded Integrated Water Resources Management (EU IWRM) Planning Project being run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities’ Water and Sanitation Programme (SPC WSP).
Gwen Sisior, the Ministry’s Water Policy Officer, said one of the key goals of the policy was to ensure that responsibility for key aspects of water and wastewater management was spread across different organizations in a coordinated and integrated manner.
“What we don’t want to see happen is a fragmented sectoral approach to managing our water supply. Organizations should work together to clarify the specific roles, responsibilities, activities and timelines to implement and support the national water policy,” Ms Sisior said. “Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach and value collaborations from users, planners and policy-makers. Decision-makers should strive to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders, multiple sectors and different levels of various organizations.”