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.


Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:44  


From the Managers Desk

We have just completed the first annual meeting of the SOPAC Division of the SPC. Now no longer a separate regional intergovernmental organisation the former membership of the SOPAC Council as it was known up to 2010 was 'reconstituted' as the SOPAC Division Meeting.

The meeting included the reporting of work programme delivery by each of the threee SOPAC technical programme areas.

Importantly, the meeting endorsed a process for the development of an integrated regional strategy for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation by 2015.

Such a strategy would succeed the existing Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 - 2015 and the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006 - 2015.