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. In most Pacific countries, even small variations in water supply can have a significant impact on health, quality of life, and economic development.
Entitled “Implementing Sustainable Water Resources and Wastewater Management in Pacific Island Countries” (GEF Pacific IWRM Project) this Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project is being executed by the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) in cooperation with 14 Pacific Island countries. The project is developing “Ridge to Reef – Community to Catchment” IWRM in the participating countries.
The Goal of the project is aligned with the GEF Pacific Alliance for Sustainability umbrella program and will ‘contribute to sustainable development in the Pacific Island Region through improvements in natural resource and environmental management’. The overall Objective is ‘to improve water resource and wastewater management and water use efficiency in Pacific Island Countries in order to balance overuse and conflicting uses of scarce freshwater resources through policy and legislative reform and implementation of applicable and effective Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plans’. This will be based on best practices and demonstrations of IWRM approaches. (GEF-IWRM 2009)
As an example for IWRM within this project, the case study of the pacific island country Tuvalu will be described on the next pages.