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Water and Sanitation Programme

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A long-term programme of capacity building, advocacy and awareness in sustainable water management for Pacific Island Countries.

SOPAC, the regional agency mandated to coordinate water and sanitation in the Pacific, provides support to its member countries through three components: Water Resources Management; Water and Sanitation Services; and Water Governance.

Pacific Island countries have uniquely fragile water resources due to their small size, lack of natural storage, competing land use and vulnerability to natural hazards.


Pollution of freshwater resources, unsafe drinking water supplies and inadequate sanitation can have a significant impact on public health, quality of life, the environment and economic development.


Urbanization, rural development, growing populations, climate change and increased demand from industry and agriculture is putting further pressure on the region’s freshwater resources, threatening the long term viability of communities and islands.


Natural disasters exacerbate water issues. Excessive rainfall, often linked to cyclones and typhoons, causes flooding and disruption of drinking water supplies. Small islands that rely on groundwater and/or rainwater harvesting are highly vulnerable to droughts, often linked to El Niño or La Niña triggered climatic disruptions. Both situations – too much or too little water – compromise the safety of drinking water supplies and increase the risk to public health.

www.pacificwater.org

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:44  


Newsflash

“Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing is one of the fastest developing technologies no matter whether you are a provider, and developer or a user. And here in the region and for the benefit of Pacific island countries and territories we are all striving to stay at the ‘cutting edge of the technology.’  In this regard the theme of this Conference focusing on mapping Pacific resources is very timely”, said Dr. Russell Howorth, Director, SOPAC Division of SPC, in the opening keynote at the Pacific GIS/RS User Conference held at Suva last week.

The growing impact of GIS and Remote Sensing was very much evident by the record number of attendees and presentations at the conference. Around 300 participants, from the around the Pacific Region convened for the three and half days of presentations, workshops and discussions.

Current and upcoming trends in the geospatial fields such as LiDAR (light detection and ranging) Imagery, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), recent progress in vegetation and land cover mapping, improvements in satellite technologies, imagery classification and open source software were heavily covered during the conference.

The conference has been held annually in Suva for the Pacific region since 1999, is free to attend and jointly organized by Secretariat of the Pacific Community, University of the South Pacific, various departments of the Fiji Government, with support from GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), satellite data and GIS software companies.