Summary of the GCCA+ SUPA project in Nauru

The project used a consultative and people centred approach to (i) prepare a methodology for impact analysis (iA) of past projects and share it with participants from Nauru; and (ii) increase production, delivery and storage of desalinated water to households, communities and businesses in Nauru.

Project Focus: Water Sector

Direct benefit: 500 persons
Indirect benefit: 9,584 persons

  • Geographic coordinates: Lat. 0.5°S and 167°E
  • Total land area 21 km²
  • Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) 320,000 km²
  • Population (2010 mid-year) 9,570
    • Temperatures have warmed and will continue to warm with more very hot days in the future.
    • Rainfall shows no clear trend since 1950. Rainfall is generally projected to increase over this century with more extreme rainfall days and less droughts.
    • Ocean acidification has been increasing in Nauru’s waters. It will continue to increase and threaten coral reef ecosystems.
    • Wave height and period are projected to decrease in December to March.
    • Sea level near Nauru has risen and will continue to rise throughout this century.

Source: BOM, CSIRO, 2014, Climate Variability, Extremes and Change in the Western Tropical Pacific: New Science and Updated Country Reports

How does this project address climate change adaptation in Nauru?

The effects of climate change on temperatures, humidity, rainfall and weather extremes are affecting the quality and quantity of water resources available for residents in Nauru. In particular, drought and flooding events are major concerns.

With a small land area and very limited groundwater resources, access to potable water is a major concern. Presently Nauru does not have a reticulated water distribution system and relies on desalinated water, rainwater harvesting and groundwater – all of which require storage at the household level – to meet water needs. Presently, desalinated water accounts for 70-80% of water needs in Nauru.

Focusing on households with limited water storage, the project is adopting a participatory and inclusive approach that addresses the vulnerabilities and the rights of residents. Skills in climate resilience will be enhanced, particularly for district leaders and community representatives.

Recognising the need for increased water storage capacity at the household level, the project is building on water security efforts by the Government of the Republic of Nauru.

Using socio-economic indicators and an assessment of household water storage capacity, the GCCA+ SUPA project is providing increased storage for desalinated water for the most vulnerable households. Basic maintenance training and the provision of tools to recipient households will contribute to sustainability.

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Key Highlights

  • Developing and applying a methodology to identify the most vulnerable households for increased water storage capacity:
  • Assessing the impacts of previous water storage systems and applying the findings to the design of the increased water storage capacity.
  • Installing water storage measures for desalinated water only for the most vulnerable households in districts in Nauru.
  • Establishing agreements with each recipient household concerning installation, maintenance and monitoring of the water storage measures.
  • Delivering maintenance training and providing basic maintenance tools for recipient households.
  • Conducting a needs analysis and raising awareness about climate resilience for local area stakeholders.
  • Building the capacity of community leaders and district leaders in climate resilience through accredited training.
  • Integrating climate change and disaster risk into local area sustainable development plans.
  • Assessing the impacts of past climate change adaptation projects and applying the results to national strategic planning.

Activities meet the following SDGs:


Increasing water storage capacity

Concept Note

Climate Change Profile

Consultation Reports – Jan 2020

Project Design Document – Amended June 2021

National Steering Committee

First Steering Committee Meeting

Selection of beneficiaries

Household selection criteria

Selection & endorsement of 50 tank recipients in Nauru

Prioritised list of recipient households

Installation of water storage measures

Community-based impact assessment summary

Web Story: Scaling up water storage capacity in Nauru in response to climate change: Assisting the most vulnerable in a systematic way

Training and awareness

World Water Day brochure

World Water Day 2021 Report

Web Story: Children showcase “valuing water” in creative ways

Building community resilience

Country Brief

Desktop Review