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Water and Sanitation Services

“Water and Health, Tomorrow’s Wealth”

Ensuring people have access to a reliable supply of clean water and proper sanitation is vital to a nation’s health. The main role of SOPAC’s Water and Sanitation Services Component is to support Pacific island governments and water and wastewater service providers achieve this.

Water Quality Monitoring

The Water Quality Monitoring programme helps build national capacity to monitor the quality of drinking water, surface water, ground water and coastal waters. Countries are provided with basic water testing equipment and in-country training on best laboratory practice. In addition an electronic water quality database has been developed to assist countries better manage and analyse water quality data and link results to a regional back-up database.

Drinking Water Safety Planning

The Drinking Water Safety Planning Programme promotes a risk management approach for the provision of safe water supplies through collaboration between water utilities, regulators and resource managers. The programme supports the country efforts to implement system specific improvements for urban and rural water supplies and supports the involvement of communities in water safety awareness and advocacy.

Water Demand Management

The Water Demand Management Programme seeks to improve the capacity of Pacific urban water utilities to deal with unaccounted-for-water. In-country support is being provided to establish System Loss Management Plans and assist countries acquire both “hardware”, such as water meters, leak detection equipment or bulk water-saving devices for incentive or rebate schemes, and “software”, which includes training, community education materials and technical expertise.

Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme promotes the use of appropriate technologies and approaches for domestic water supply and sanitation issues through awareness raising, demonstrating best practices and advocacy. This includes rainwater harvesting and mainstreaming gender and community participation in water supply and sanitation. Increasing interest and support by donors and other organisations on the critical issue of water and sanitation has resulted in a large number of overlapping interventions. Ensuring that work carried out is well coordinated, in order to optimise outputs and avoid duplication, has therefore become increasingly important. Partners have been mobilised to coordinate activities through the Pacific WASH Coalition, including coordinated responses in times of natural disasters through the Pacific Humanitarian Team.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 14:38  


Newsflash

1st August 2014 – Secretariat of the Pacific Community – Koror, Palau: This morning, delegates to the 45th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Palau witnessed the signing of a maritime boundary treaty between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America (USA) to delimit the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) between the two countries. Signing the treaty on behalf of FSM was Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert; the United States of America was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dennise Mathieu.

The agreement, which has taken one and a half years to formulate, provides definitive legal status to the boundaries between the overlapping EEZs of FSM and the US Territory of Guam in the North Pacific Ocean.

This agreement underscores the importance of clearly establishing national areas of jurisdiction and limits under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the foundation for improved governance, protection, conservation and management of national ocean resources.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, through its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, assists member countries in this process in close coordination with a large consortium of partners who combine resources to deliver comprehensive service and expertise, including the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Geoscience Australia, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) GRID-Arendal centre, Australian Attorney General’s Office, and the University of Sydney.

The Pacific Islands region has approximately 48 shared maritime boundaries where neighbouring EEZs overlap. With the addition of this signed treaty, 32 of these boundaries are formalised and subject to treaty.