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

Pacific countries are being urged to protect their deep sea mineral resources as commercial interest rapidly grows in the region.

One company is planning to undertake the world's first deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea and there's growing interest elsewhere.

Jonathan Lowe from Nautilus Minerals told ONE News their initial focus is on copper, gold, zinc and silver.

However extracting it from 1-2 kilometres below sea level, has always been the issue - until now.

Commercial groups are currently starting to sign up exploration licences around the region and Pacific governments are being urged to protect themselves and negotiate the best deal with interested companies

"They are making heavy investments. They are going to push very hard to get as much of the proceeds as possible," said Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director of General South Pacific Community.

"Governments need to be very clear on what it is they want to get out of this. They have to have definite milestones that are not negotiable."