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Water Resources Management

Pacific Hydrological Cycle Observing System
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”

Good water resource management decisions must be based on measured data and good information. The Pacific Hydrological Cycle Observing System (HYCOS) supports national hydrological services in member countries monitor and asses their water resources. The programme’s ultimate aim is to promote and facilitate the collection, exchange, dissemination and use of water related information in order to protect and improve the management of freshwater resources. Climatic extremes and climatic variability is further increasing the need and usefulness of this type of information.

Pacific Water and Climate Resource Centre
“If our global energy habits are the focus for mitigation, the way we use and manage our water must become the focus for adaptation”

The Pacific Water and Climate Resource Centre provides further guidance to water managers on the use of climate information and the identification of appropriate coping and adaptation strategies for climate variability and change in the water sector.

Integrated Water Resources Management Demonstrations
“Managing freshwater from ridge to reef”

Water is a resource that is always in motion, and as such it affects and is impacted by many different environments and human activities. In spite of this, water resources management has traditionally been fragmented with related issues and sectors managed in isolation. Pacific island countries have recognised the need to move towards an integrated approach to water resources management, bringing together different sectors and stakeholders to plan and manage water resources. Integrated water resources management, or IWRM, has been highlighted as part of the Millennium Development Goals and the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Water Management, which aims to improve the assessment and monitoring of water resources, reduce water pollution, improve access to technologies, strengthen institutional agreements, and leverage additional financial resources in supporting IWRM.

The Pacific IWRM demonstration programme is supporting water managers implement applicable and effective Integrated Water Resource Management and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plans based on best practices and demonstrations that address national priority water issues.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 09:27  


Water and sanitation are among the key challenges facing the Pacific Island region and will be a focus for discussion at the upcoming Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa, 1‒4 September.

According to Mike Petterson, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, all Pacific SIDS have made some progress in water and sanitation but not enough.

‘Many of these efforts are not keeping up with population growth, meaning the region as a whole is actually going backwards compared to the rest of the world,’ said Professor Petterson. ‘SPC is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to assess progress against the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) targets for water supply and sanitation. For the region as a whole the findings aren’t good.’

UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, Marc Overmars, said the MDGs aim to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation and safe drinking water by 2015.  ‘The data we’ve collected with WHO suggest that for the Pacific as a whole, progress towards these targets has been poor compared to neighbouring regions and the world,’ he said.