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Solomon Islands
Geography
Total Area 28,450 km2
Land 27,540 km2
Water 910 km2
Highest Elevation 2,447 

Land Use
Arable 0.62%
Perm. Crop 2.04%
Other 97.34% (2005)

People
Population 566,842 (July 2007 est.)
Population Growth Rate 2.54% (July 2007 est.)

Economy
GDP per capita (PPP) $600 (2005 est.)

Water Statistics
Avg Rainfall

1,500 to 5,000 mm per annum 
Solomon Islands


Status of Water Resources
Water resources availability ranges from sizeable rivers to small streams from high mountainous and dense rainforest islands to rainwater harvesting and thin fresh water lens of underground aquifers of the small low-lying atolls and islets. Rainfall and river flows are highly variable in certain areas; drinking water supplies may run short one month, yet a few months’ later roads and gardens may be threatened by floods. In the outlying atolls of the Solomon Islands, where rainfall is low and there are only limited supplies of groundwater. Even where water resources are abundant they may not be suitable for a particular use, such as human consumption.

Problems with Water Resources and Associated Environment Issues
With an estimated population of 400,000 in 1999, about 14% live in six urban areas including Honiara and the balance of about 86% of the population live in rural areas while the rest live in urban and peri-urban areas. Information to date revealed that about 50-70% of rural population has access to piped or improved water supply while coverage in urban areas is about 80-90%.
Drinking and household use in both rural villages and in urban centres is the major use of water resources in the country. Although the quantities required are relatively small the quality of the raw water must be high due to non-presence of expensive treatment for the water supply. There is limited agricultural water demand because most crops are rain fed or watered direct from groundwater sources. The agricultural developments of Guadalcanal plains have shown the potential for irrigation especially in the small holder rice farming activities. Furthermore, with the increase in the population (approximate annual growth rates placed between 2.8 and 3%) there is a need to increase the supply of water in urban and rural areas. In this case better water quality and quantity is needed for the country to meet the increasing population in the near future.
Current Information suggests that about 50-70% of rural population have access to piped or improved water supply while coverage in urban areas is about 80-90%.
Diagnostic Report
Demonstration Proposal
Hot Spot Analysis

Information on this page obtained from Integrated Water Resources Management programme's Diagnostic Reports (SOPAC 2007)
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