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  


Next week, from Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 November, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community will hold its 43rd meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) in Suva, Fiji.


CRGA will be followed by the 8th Conference of the Pacific Community, where a new Director-General will be appointed to lead SPC following the departure of Dr Jimmie Rodgers in early 2014. The conference will take place on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 November. Both CRGA and the conference will be held in the Vale Ni Bose Complex in Nasase, Suva and will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of Fiji.


The Conference of the Pacific Community is held every two years and each one has a theme. This year it is: Enhancing sustainable development in the Pacific community – Helping shape the post-2015 agenda. The occasion will allow SPC’s 26 member countries and territories to provide direction and determine priorities for the region’s principal technical and scientific organisation.


The annual CRGA will be an opportunity for the seven technical divisions of SPC to highlight service delivery and completion of project milestones in the areas of public health, geoscience, agriculture, forestry, water resources, disaster management, fisheries, education, statistics, transport, energy, human rights, gender, youth and culture.