Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
8. Small Island Developing States (Pacific)
The Pacific Ocean covers some 18 million km2 or about 36% of the Earth’s
surface. Scattered throughout the
Pacific are over 30,000 small islands and a number of larger islands (each over
2,000 km2 in area), which emerge from the sea floor.
Of these about 1,000 are inhabited. The Map shows the
Pacific Region covered in this report.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are unique.
They consist of relatively small landmasses
completely surrounded by the sea. The ocean isolates SIDS from one another so
they have no shared borders with other countries.
Travel between islands may be difficult and expensive.
The natural environment throughout the
Pacific SIDS is extremely fragile and is highly vulnerable to both natural and
human impacts. Natural hazards like
cyclones, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis may strike at anytime and in most
places within the Pacific Region. In
the past decade, changing climate patterns, rapidly growing populations and
increasing pressures on limited natural resources in many countries have
produced a crisis of damage to, and depletion of, these resources most
necessary for basic life support, especially freshwater supply. The economic
and public health implications of the crisis have provoked an urgent need for
greatly improved management, planning, operation, and maintenance of the water
supply and sanitation sector, associated environmental protection, and
conservation of both surface and groundwater resources.
Traditionally and culturally people living on SIDS have strong ties with
their coastal marine areas. The
disposal of wastewater and stormwater definitely has negative impacts on both
freshwater and coastal marine environments affecting public health, ecosystems
and the economy of SIDS. Greater efforts and resources are required regionally,
nationally and individually to help minimise these impacts of land-based waste
disposal on the fragile environment.
8.0.2 Overview compiling method
Information presented in this overview was obtained by:
- Abstraction from existing reports and studies
- Contact with individual agencies responsible for
wastewater and stormwater management (see Appendix 1 for responses)
- Personal knowledge of waste disposal methods within the Region
Appendix 1 presents the information collected for this regional overview
on a series of data sheets.
While compiling this overview it became obvious that there is a lack of
comprehensive and on-going data collection for all wastewater parameters.
Very few utilities monitor wastewater
influence and / or effluence. Neither is receiving bodies of water (rivers,
streams, groundwater or seawater) monitored for quality.
Thus there is little hard data available
for use in this overview.
The general lack of water sector monitoring and data collection is a major problem
in the Region.