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V. FRESHWATER RESOURCES:

The importance of freshwater resources for SIDS and the limits they impose on sustainable development are highlighted in this chapter. The last paragraph to be resolved addresses the need to safeguard watershed areas. After much negotiation, the final version of paragraph 28 contains reference to safeguarding watershed areas and groundwater resources, including treatment and distribution of limited water supplies, and protection against contamination from human and agricultural wastes.

Recommendations for national action include: the development, maintenance and protection of watershed areas; irrigation systems; distribution networks and appropriate catchment systems; adoption of appropriate standards for the management of freshwater resources; monitoring and responding to the impacts of natural and environmental hazards; encouraging the development and acquisition of appropriate technology and training for cost-effective sewage disposal; and desalination and rainwater collection.

Recommendations for regional and international action include: regional cooperation in training and research to assist Governments in the development and implementation of integrated water resource plans; improved access to technologies for freshwater catchment, production, conservation and delivery; enhancing the capacity to develop and implement integrated water resource plans; training and awareness campaigns for water conservation; and assessing the impact of climate change on freshwater resources.