As with many other island nations, Vanuatu has uniquely fragile water resources due to its small size, lack of storage and limited freshwater lens. Water shortages are common during the dry season. Water crises during El Niño-driven droughts are becoming increasingly common on smaller and more remote southern atolls that rely primarily on rainwater and have limited harvesting capacity. Increasing sea levels come with the threat of salt-water intrusion in the shallow fresh water lens, particularly in coastal areas and in areas where recharge rates are on the decline. Hygiene and sanitation continue to be a concern, with the additional challenge of managing the sewage system without contaminating the ground-water lens. . Already, some of the country’s freshwater lens has been contaminated with brine. A growing urban population makes meeting the needs of the population in the two main urban centers ever more challenging and urgent.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.