Our lagoons are the jewels of the Pacific and are central to life in the Cook Islands, both economically, environmentally and culturally. Lagoon environments are especially fragile to pollution caused by land-based development and careless behavior by humans.

When the WATSAN Division was established, the role of the division was to implement a wastewater treatment improvement programme referred to as the Waste Management and Sanitation Improvement Programme (WMI) also known as the Muri Pilot.  The division also absorbed an existing Integrated Water Resources Management Project (IWRM). The WMI programme was completed in 2014 and then a carry-on project called the Sanitation Upgrade Programme (SUP) came about while also expanding the division by absorbing the Water Works Division and the Rarotonga Waste Facility's management.  

The SUP has changed in scope and is now merged with the Te Mato Vai water supply upgrade project to bring about a joint Water and Sanitation (wastewater) Project Management Unit that will morph into a utility of some sort.  The SUP is renamed as Mei Te Vai, Ki Te Vai and this project is to look at a reticulating wastewater in the Ngatangiia area.  

WATSAN is now housing a small Global Environment Fund (GEF) Pacific Ridge to Reef Project that supports the wastewater work done and being done in Muri under WMI and Mei Te Vai, Ki Te Vai.  This project is titled: Building Capacity for Sustainable Human and Animal Waste Management in Muri.

Public Health sewage related regulations, standards and application forms for Sewage Construction are available to the right for download.   

Animal waste can be especially harmful to the lagoon and ocean. Find out what the rules are and how you can best keep your animals environmentally friendly.
This policy guides the way forward for the Cook Islands to achieve better management of wastewater and in line with the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP).
Ridge to Reef: Testing the Integration of Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods in Pacific Islands Countries Project