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

The Pacific region is known to be one of the areas of the planet that is most exposed to disaster hazards and now must also cope with more frequent and more intense climate change events. Regular occurrences such as flooding, cyclones and drought are being amplified by the effects of climate change.

The Honourable Henry Puna, the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, has graced the opening. He spoke about his pleasure at having been invited to the STAR meeting and the annual meeting of the SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology division here in Noumea. Since the start of the SOPAC, Cook Islands has benefited from its services as a member, and the country has had the pleasure of hosting its annual meeting three times. The Prime Minister who was invited also in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum thanked Dr. Russell Howorth for his outstanding services to the region and to the SOPAC division.