SPC Geoscience Division

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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

Thursday 19 September 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji – On Friday, 1 November 2013, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) will recognize the outstanding service of eleven employees, all of whom have given more than twenty years to the organization. The contributions of such dedicated employees have made it possible for the SOPAC Division to meet its goal of supporting the sustainable development of Pacific communities, whilst building the reputation of a reliable and effective geoscience services provider.

SOPAC has a long history in the Pacific. First established in 1972 as a United Nations Development Programme Regional Project, the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, or SOPAC, initially focused on exploring Pacific mineral and hydro-carbon potential. Over the years, SOPAC’s programme of work has shifted to include coastal protection and management, geohazard assessment, water resource management, and disaster risk management. In 1990, SOPAC became an independent regional organization. In 2011, the organization integrated with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), becoming the newest division of SPC.

The eleven employees to be recognized on 1 November 2013 have witnessed firsthand many changes within the organisation, the region and, of course, technology over the years.