The Pacific Water Association (PWA) will be holding their inaugural Pacific Water Conference (PWC) next week in Samoa at Hotel Kitano for 3 days from Tuesday 9th - Thursday 11th September, 2008.

The Pacific Water Association (PWA), together with its partners, the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), will host the inaugural Pacific Water Conference (PWC '08) and Pacific Water Tradeshow (PWT) in Apia, Samoa at the Hotel Kitano from September 9th to 11th, 2008. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the major sponsor for the upcoming Conference.

The PWA was founded in 1995 to support the water industry in the Pacific facing continued water resource challenges. It currently has 16 Pacific Island water utilities as active members, along with a number of allied and individual members comprising water and wastewater related organisations.

PWA's vision is 'to be widely recognised and trusted for its integrity, expertise, influence and leadership in sustainable water management'; its mission -' to develop expertise in the Pacific for the sustainable management of water'.

The PWC's theme is "A Changing Environment for Sustainable Water Management" intended to reflect the gradual change in attitudes of Pacific Island nations regarding the ongoing water challenges and current water and sanitation management practices. The PWC has over 50 confirmed participants from around the region; the three day programme includes presentations from active and allied members as well as consultants specialising in the water industry, a Pacific Partnership Initiatives Meeting facilitated by SOPAC and highlighting the International Year of Sanitation, a Delphi Study workshop which will explore ways of reducing vulnerability of the Pacific Island's water services infrastructure to climate change, a programme on benchmarking and PWA's 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The Tradeshow will be held during the first two days of the Conference and is open to the Public, free of charge. It will feature international and local exhibitors showcasing their range of water products, technologies and solutions, together with Samoa's ADB and EU funded water/wastewater sector project/programme updates.

The PWA recognises that one of the keys to successful water resource management lies in the sowing of the seeds today for tomorrow's generations. In this vein, the PWA has involved primary and secondary students in promoting awareness about global and regional water issues through inviting their participation in the PWC Jingle and Poster competitions based on the theme "Water is Precious but Limited".

At the outset of organising this regional Conference, funding was the biggest challenge for KEW Consult Ltd, the interim PWA Secretariat Office. However, with the positive assistance and support provided by donors and sponsors to date, PWA is confident that the PWC '08 will be successful. Additional sponsors include Samoa Water Authority, Bluebird AHLAL and Veolia Water (France/Australia).

The future of our water is in our hands and with the help from our friends; using the latest technology the PWA will continue to assist in counteracting our water problems by gaining the Pacific's trust through it's expertise, influence and integrity which bodes well for future Pacific generations.