2 Nov 2011

450,000 litres of drinkable water arrives on drought-stricken Tuvalu

6:03 am on 2 November 2011

Australia and New Zealand have teamed up to deliver 450,000 litres of drinkable water to drought-stricken Tuvalu.

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles says the shipment to Tuvalu's main island of Funafuti was delivered yesterday.

He told 9NEWS the much-needed water will fill government storage facilities and enable households to access more water in Tuvalu.

Australia also has provided two delivery trucks to help distribute water to communities.

Tuvalu declared a state of emergency in September after months without rainfall forced its government to start rationing the water supply.

Mr Marles says Australia and New Zealand will provide a second shipment of 600,000 litres of water if the drought worsens.

Australia also is providing two small desalination units, with the first due to arrive in Funafuti this month.

It also is teaming up with the United States and the United Kingdom to build 40,000-litre-a-day desalination plants to be up and running next month.