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Overview of Water Security in Pacific Islands with Recommendations for Best Practices

Paeniu, Luke and Samani, Tupeope and Iese, Viliamu and Yuen, Linda B.K. (2016) Overview of Water Security in Pacific Islands with Recommendations for Best Practices. [Professional and Technical Reports]

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    Abstract

    The demands of increased populations, increased food production, industrial and manufacturing activities, natural resources extraction and power generation are likely to contribute significantly to the deteriorating state of water security in the Pacific Islands in the future. This report presents recognised approaches and best practices that will contribute to improved current state of water security in the region. The purpose of this report is to help decision-makers, water resource and sanitation practitioners make best use of the relevant knowledge provided by the wealth of experiences gained from implementing water-related projects at the community and national levels. These initiatives aim to address various specific objectives such as the installation or expansion of a central water supply system, water safety planning, water resources monitoring, rainwater harvesting, seasonal rainfall projections and public outreach and awareness. While using information in this report, readers are advised that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to water security. Water security issues are not always the same in all Pacific countries. Small low lying islands have different water problems than higher and larger Islands. Water security is complex and multi-dimensional in nature. The report aims to be a descriptive guide rather than a prescriptive manual. It is hoped that the positive lessons presented in this report will help water practitioners to select and design a strategy best suited to their circumstances and specific needs. Pacific countries face major challenges in achieving water security. Fragile ecosystems are under pressure from human induced activities, and urbanisation further exacerbates water stress. Increasing population will increase the demand for food and, therefore, agricultural production and food processing. Climate change is one of the biggest threats faced by Pacific countries. Floods, droughts and cyclones are frequently experienced in the Pacific causing damage to infrastructure, property and crops; and loss of human lives and livestock. At the current rate of population growth in the region, more people are likely to be affected. While infrastructure development may be a preference for many PICs in achieving long-term water security, this is not always possible. Alternatively, a more feasible approach is to improve water resource management as a preparedness strategy in addressing water resources issues that arise due to the impacts of climate change. The report recognises that water security is complex and multi-dimensional, with many contributing factors such as biophysical, infrastructural, institutional, political, social and financial. The various approaches that can be undertaken to address water security are explored. The right enabling environment is a prerequisite for the achievement of water security. The report will discuss major important ingredients of the right enabling environment for water security, such as the legal framework, policies, plans, institutional arrangements, financing mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation and human capacity. Conducting water resources assessment is necessary, as part of the enabling environment, to determine the status of water security. Water resources assessment is a tool for measuring, collecting and analysing water information for the purpose of improving the management of water resources. Data is a fundamental requirement in water resource assessment and it is vital to have information in the following critical areas: Hydrological data; Physiographic data; Basic and applied research data; Manpower training and knowledge; Mapping technique and Socio-economic data. This overview and best practices report will also include a list of valuable lessons learnt which are recommended for water and sanitation practitioners and decision-makers for the planning, design and implementation of future water-related projects.

    Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
    Depositing User: Luke Paeniu
    Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 13:55
    Last Modified: 12 Apr 2017 09:54
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9619
    UNSPECIFIED

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