Hope amidst Kiribati water crisis, but international help is needed

RNZ Pacific reports Kiribati has the highest infant mortality rates in the Pacific linked directly to unsafe drinking water, according to Childfund.

The country has very low ground water which is contaminated by salt and rubbish. Climate change is making it worse with rising sea water, periods of drought and sporadic rains.

Drought imperils Samoa power generation

The Electric Power Corporation said hydro power plants generated 18 percent of the country's electricity needs and one hydro station had been out of operation for three months because of low water levels.

The Samoa Observer reported the Minister of Works,Transport and Infrastructure Olo Fiti Vaai warned that families needed to take heed and urged them to make sure they had reserves such as water tanks at home.

He said climate change was an ongoing issue and it was affecting water supply with reservoirs getting too low, while rivers were drier than they had ever been.

Kiribati Banaba island struggles with drought

There have been reports that the remote island was facing a water crisis, with empty tanks and two desalination machines out of action.

Pelenise Alofa said Banaba had no natural water source and islanders usually relied on rain water, but there hadn't been any in six months.

She said food crops like pumpkin and tapioca were dying.

"There hasn't been any rain.

Sydney gets toughest water restrictions in a decade

On Tuesday, level two restrictions were enacted in the capital of New South Wales (NSW), a state 99.9% in drought.

These could be increased to level three within months, local media report.

Temperatures are predicted to soar above 40C (104F) from Tuesday, worsening fires which have already killed six people since October.

There are now more than 100 fires in NSW and Queensland states, many of which have been burning for several weeks.

What are the water restrictions?

Drought forecast on the horizon as Samoa dry spell continues

Farmers have blamed the dry spell for the skyrocketing price of fruit and vegetables, with some produce costing 200 percent more.

The head of the Samoa Meteorological Service, Mulipola Ta'inau Ausetalia Titimaea, said rainfall has been dramatically below normal.

"For example, Apia. The total rainfall for February this year we had -- for the stations in Apia -- was 554mm. And for the March it was way below, with only 55.1mm," Mulipola said.

Rising heat could make parts of South Asia uninhabitable by 2100 -study

Most of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will experience temperatures close to the limits of survivability by 2100, without emissions reductions.

The research says the fraction of the population exposed to dangerous, humid heat waves may reach 30 percent.

South Asia is home to one-fifth of the world's inhabitants.

Wet bulb threat

Most official weather stations around the world measure temperature with two thermometers.

Australia gives more funding to fight Pacific drought

It gave US$6.5 million dollars last year and has just announced another US$359,000 dollars in additional support for the North Pacific.

The foreign minister Julie Bishop said the money will focus initially on the Marshall Islands where a state of emergency is in force.

More water for drought stricken Fiji's Western division

The provision of tanks was made possible with support from the €19.36 million (US$21.12 million) European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

These tanks will be installed in temporary roadside locations filled by the National Disaster Management Office throughout the Christmas season to ensure the most severely affected areas can access clean and safe drinking water, which is critical to human health.

Drought threat for much of the Pacific remains

The Island Climate Update, compiled by New Zealand's NIWA with other meteorological agencies and the Pacific Regional Environment Programmme, says each of those countries has experienced significantly lower than expected rain levels in the past five to six months.

Vanuatu 'needs more help' to survive summer

El Niño conditions in the Pacific are expected to bring drought to the island nation, which was devastated by Cyclone Pam in March.

The head of Red Cross New Zealand's international programme, Phil Brewster, said the country was still rebuilding, and its water systems were not yet fully restored.