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Water Resource Management in Tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga is comprised of 172 islands, with a total land area of 718km and 419km of coastline. The climate is characterized by heavy rainfall, humidity and high temperatures which are steady through the year, with the exception of severe tropical cyclones during the summer months. These bring sea-level increases, coupled with localised flooding and drought. These climate effects are a microcosm of global climate change, and pose a threat to Tonga’s residents and infrastructure.

Environmental changes in Tonga’s coastal zones include land loss, shoreline retreat, reduced beach vegetation (including mangroves) which would otherwise act as buffers against the impacts of climate change. Much of the infrastructure and socio-economic activities in Tonga are located near or on the coast which makes them highly vulnerable to effects of climate change and sea-level rise. This has a significant impact on the country’s GDP and development in general. Water infrastructure in particular is essential to the well-being of the residents, and needs to be addressed in order to adapt to climate change.


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