The natural environment around Pacific islands is highly vulnerable to both natural and human impacts. The current methods used for wastewater management have shown negative impacts on freshwater quality, and have been associated with increased algal blooms, dying coral, and decreasing numbers of marine life.
A reliable wastewater management is needed to protect the surrounding environment and public health.
A sustainable Nature-based Solution for people and planet
In the Airai State, in Palau, Ridge to Reefs and Palau Community College Cooperative Research and Extension will work on the implementation of innovative and nature-based wastewater treatment facilities to help improve coastal environmental conditions, protect coral reef, sea grass and mangrove ecosystems, and support local communities in reducing their impact on the local environment.
The project developers will implement a sustainable and nature-based approach for wastewater treatment to address the need for a low-cost and locally developed solution. The proposed pilots are based on bioreactors systems tested and deployed in Hawaii. The method has shown great results, with a strong reduction in nitrogen, phosphorus and other suspended solids released into the environment, which meets the conservation goals for these regions.
How BNCFF supports
Funding from the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility will help the project build the business case for the roll-out of improved wastewater treatment, to help with the long-term financial viability and scaling at a national scale in Palau. The project will also aim to provide the means to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method and its suitability for other small island developing states in the Pacific.
The pilot wastewater management system will reduce the risk of contamination of freshwater and and reduce coastal pollution, and will improve marine and coastal environmental conditions. Additionally, the use of locally sourced biomass in the wastewater management system will greatly reduce the human footprint on nature.
This project will help support the preservation of the surface and ground water quality as well as the mitigation of public health risks associated with poorly performing wastewater management systems.
The project will help support local employment and set the standards for further development of national standards and regulations to support the long-term implementation of this bioreactor wastewater management system.
Want to know more about their project? Check out their bioreactor gardens project description page.