On March 28, a team from the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) led by Dr. Natale Massimo Caminiti, Dr. Filippo Moretti and Dr. Marco Propositi arrived on island to finalize the grant proposal aimed at increasing Palau’s resilience to extreme drought events.
The $800,000 grant from the Government of Italy will launch a feasibility study with the objective of identifying new water sources. The additional water sources will increase current water supply, improve and strengthen Palau’s resilience as well as build up the nation’s capacity in response to extreme droughts and other related weather events.
While in Palau, the team worked closely with PPUC and Palau Energy Administration to gather all relevant data necessary to finalize the proposal. The team also met with Minister Charles Obichang and representatives from the Office of Climate Change, Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB), National Emergency Committee (NEC), the National Weather Service Office, Belau Watershed Alliance (BWA), and Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).
The Palau Energy Administration extends its appreciation to PPUC for their assistance and support with information and data sharing as well as hosting site visits to various water well stations in Airai, including visits to the Ngeruluobel Water Treatment Plant and Ngerikiil Dam.
The final approval from the Government of Italy is expected by end of April 2017. The Palau Energy Administration anticipates the feasibility study to commence by May 2017.
The $800,000 grants stems from an initiative made by Palau’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Caleb Otto and Italy’s United Nations Ambassador. [/restrict]