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

"What are your plans to assist yourself, your family, friends, community and country address the climate change challenge?”, Dr Russell Howorth, Director of SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC), issued the challenge to the more than 40 international youth delegates from the 23rd Ship of World Youth Programme who attended a special presentation by SOPAC scientists on their work within the region on climate change.

The presentation was held at SOPAC headquarters in Suva. Dr. Howorth said that climate change has gained pre-eminence in the debate on development at all levels, national, regional and global. “The ocean is often referred to as the engine room of the global climate,” said Dr Howorth. "It occupies nearly three quarters (75%) of the earth’s surface and stores most of the incoming energy from the Sun. Not only is the Pacific Ocean the largest physical feature on Earth, here in the SOPAC region over 95% of the environment is the Pacific Ocean."