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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed water production and distribution facility at Milandhoo, Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Zuhair, Mohamed
Abdul Fathah, Mariyam Shujaa-ath
Shareef, Mohamed
Keywords: Water supply system
Reverse Osmosis desalination
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Existing terrestrial environment
Existing marine environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Existing climatic environment
Constructional impacts
Operational impacts
Environmental monitoring
Environmental management
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Citation: Zuhair, M., Abdul Fathah, M. S. & Shareef, M. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed water production and distribution facility at Milandhoo, Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: 1. The purpose of this EIA is to critically analyse and assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the development of the proposed water production and distribution facility at Sh. Milandhoo and expose the solutions and preferred alternatives as well as mitigation measures to minimize any negative impacts whilst trying to derive the maximum positive impacts from the project; 2. Currently, rainwater is widely used in all houses as cooking water and groundwater is used for various other domestic uses. Almost all houses have a rainwater storage tank. Bottled water is now mainly used as drinking water. Nevertheless, the groundwater lens in the islands of Maldives is depleted and highly saline due to over use and polluted in some areas and not fit for use for domestic purposes. Even though rainwater is widely used, it is not a reliable source as rainwater cannot be collected during dry season. Therefore, it is understood that residents of Milandhoo are in urgent need of a clean water facility; 3. In the proposed facility the water production system is designed for 15 years whereas the distribution system for 35 years; 4. Proposed project involves installation of an RO plant with a capacity of 65 tonnes per day with three independent drains. Seawater intake is proposed from two bore wells 30 m deep at a site near the desalination plant. In addition to the bore wells, the facility will also incorporate rain water collected from public roofs, hence this is an integrated water resource management facility. Project also includes laying of distribution pipeline to existing household and a fire hydrant system; 5. A full baseline of groundwater quality, seawater quality, vegetation clearance and marine environment was established. Marine environment study showed that living substrata and fish count at the proposed outfall location was low; 6. The construction works of new RO plant presented in this report are not expected to adversely impact the environment if the mitigation measures mentioned in the report are followed. The most important mitigation measures are daily maintenance of machinery, following chemical handling procedures, waste segregation and storage in closed labelled containers until disposal; 7. Overall, the proposed project is expected to bring in positive outcomes. It is expected that the newly established water production and distribution facility will ensure water security to the population of Milandhoo in addition to greatly reducing health impacts associated with the use of polluted water; and 8. Monitoring is essential to ensure that environmental thresholds are not exceeded and mitigation measures proposed are working. Water quality and marine environment monitoring shall be done as per the proposed monitoring schedule.
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