We directly experience higher tides and more frequent storms, which bring salt-water intrusion and coastal flooding. We have long periods of drought, an endangered supply of fresh water, and bleaching of the coral reefs that cradle our islands. The islands and atolls of Kiribati have limited ground water lenses. Potable ground water in wells has traditionally supplied water for the population but this supply has been failing as a direct result of climate changes that are being experienced. The coral limestone, which supports atolls, is porous and allows seawater to flow through it. The water table oscillates on a daily basis with the tides, and in the long term with the mean sea level. As sea levels have risen, many wells have become contaminated with salt water and can no longer be used. The ground water supply in South Tarawa is dependent on the size of the land area and as this diminishes as a result of rising sea levels and coastal erosion, so does the size of the water lens. Read this case study about drilling for water in Kiribati.

Traditionally there have been two seasons in Kiribati—“Aumaiaki”, the dry season from April to September, and “Aumeang”, the rainy season from October to March. But in recent years the country has experienced unusual and extreme drought-like conditions, even during what has traditionally been the rainy season. As a result rainwater catchment has been greatly reduced. The net result of these factors mean that the water supply in Kiribati falls short of the recommended WHO standard of 50 litres per person per day.

MPWU presents during the Consultation Workshop to Buota and Bonriki villagers

Governance Roadmap on Water Reserves first workshop, complete

The critical state of the water reserves is likely to get more serious in the future as a result of the impacts of climate change on future rainfall / drought patterns, together with the population growth.

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati to Celebrate World Water Day

Kiribati will be celebrating World Water Day on Monday 24 March 2014. This year’s theme is ‘Water and Climate Change’.

Bikenibeu West students show off their water tower in the background

PUB water reticulation site survey, complete

Reducing leakage in the Tarawa reticulation system is a key priority for the Government of Kiribati.

New Zealand Army Staff Sgt. Nick Bunker collects a water sample during a Pacific Partnership 2013 water quality assessment. Photo:  2nd Class Tim D Godbee, US Navy.

More water tests for Tarawa

Water from a number of rainwater catchment systems is being tested by environmental health specialists from the New Zealand Army on South Tarawa.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front before the other panelists, and the nation.

Wet weather fails to dampen public hearing spirits

Morning rain did not dampen the mood at Kiribati’s first-ever National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at the nation’s capital on Friday.

Sunset in Tarawa.

Government and SPC talk joint strategies

A small team from the Government of Kiribati and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have been working hard to develop a new joint country strategy (JCS) between SPC and the Government of Kiribati.

The signing of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract between Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop. Photo: KAPIII

No potholes in road contract signing

South Tarawa’s long-awaited new road is one step closer after the Government of Kiribati and New Zealand-based construction company McConnell Dowell signed the official contract recently.

World Water Day 2013 will be celebrated in Kiribati on  Monday 25 March at Bairiki Square

Celebrate World Water Day with a splash

Live performances, quizzes, children’s games and handy how-to demonstrations are all part of this year’s World Water Day 2013 celebrations.

Part of the main road on South Tarawa.

Australia to give $15 million for road

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr visits Kiribati, announces $15 million in funding from Australia for road project.

Island Report image Nikunau

A climate change reality

Watch extracts from a documentary film about how climate change is affecting Kiribati.