Supporting vulnerable communities in Maldives to manage climate change-induced water shortages
Providing safe and secure freshwater to 105,000 people on the outer islands of the Maldives, in response to climate change-induced water shortages. Introducing integrated water supply systems, decentralized dry season water supplies, and improvements to groundwater quality.
The Maldives consists of 1,190 small, low-lying coral islands spread over 90,000 square kilometres. There are high levels of poverty on the outer islands, which experience drinking water shortages during the dry season causing significant human, environmental, and social impacts. Groundwater becomes increasingly saline as a result of climate change-induced sea level rise (3.1 mm/year) and variable rainfall patterns. Responses are constrained by remoteness and limitations on land space.
The project will scale up an integrated water supply system based on rainwater, groundwater, and desalinated water into a low-cost delivery system for vulnerable households. This will provide uninterrupted supply to 49 islands that currently rely on emergency water deliveries for three months of each year. Decentralized and cost-effective dry season water supply systems will also be introduced. Water desalination production plants will be built on four larger islands that will contribute to this improved dry season water distribution network to outer atolls and local supply systems. Increased capacity of local and central government authorities will strengthen the management and efficiency of these systems. Groundwater quality will be improved for long-term resilience. Groundwater recharge systems and improved water resource management capacity will contribute to improved groundwater quality.
The project has an estimated lifespan of 5 years.
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