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Environment and health
The quality of water in the major rivers and streams is believed to be good, although data are not organized or coordinated. Human activities have affected water quality over the years and sources of pollution are industry, forestry and agriculture, as well as the growth of urban areas. This pollution damages native fisheries and aquatic life in streams and rivers.
Very little data is available for the assessment of groundwater quality. Groundwater may be polluted by the infiltration of chemicals, which are disposed by the sugarcane farmers and other agro-producers. On larger islands groundwater contamination is a major source of concern, but also on smaller islands some problems may occur due to local waste disposal that may pollute groundwater. (SOPAC, 2007).
A close connection exists between waste disposal, water quality and health, especially in rural areas. The most common waterborne diseases in the country are leptospirosis, diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid (SOPAC, 2007).
Water Authority of Fiji has 43 water treatment plants and facilities throughout the country providing safe and clean drinking water (WAF, 2015).
Fiji has experienced both drought and flooding. Regular drought results from El Ni˝o climate conditions and low-lying islands are particularly susceptible to extended dry periods. Flooding regularly occurs throughout various parts of the country, where some larger towns including Nadi, Ba, and Labasa have developed in highly flood prone areas. Development of agriculture in the floodplain and progressive deforestation for agricultural purposes may cause flood peaking to become more extreme in the future.