Availability of freshwater is a serious issue in many small
islands. Rainfall is often unpredictable and variable, and run-off high.
Related issues include increasing domestic, agricultural and industrial
consumption, lack of storage capacity, and pollution from a variety
of sources. There are, therefore, problems with both the quality and
quantity of water. As climate change has an impact on rainfall patterns,
many SIDS will experience increased periods of drought (IPCC 2001).
This has already become a problem in Cape Verde and Madagascar which
are now suffering drought-related food emergencies (FAO/GIEWS 2003).
In the Pacific, there are particular problems with maintaining water
supply and quality in low and raised atolls, with the threat of poor
effluent disposal, fertilizers and pesticides entering water supplies,
leaching from waste dumps, activities close to boreholes which can pollute
groundwater, and possible salt water intrusion during storms or rising