|Abstract: ||The purpose of this document is to fulfil the requirements to get necessary environmental
clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency to establish the proposed Water Supply
System at Dhidhdhoo, Haa Alifu Atoll. The proponent of this project is Ministry of Environment
and Energy (MEE). Project contractor is Sierra Construction Private Limited.
The main rationale for the project is to enhance the quality of services and quality of life of
residents of Ha.Dhidhdhoo by establishing a proper potable water supply system that will
provide clean and safe water for the residents of Ha.Dhidhdhoo. The project is intended at
providing an integrated water supply system covering rainwater and desalinated water
production and supply. The project is expected to be completed in 12 months.
The proposed project involves installation and establishment of two 220 cbm/day reverse
osmosis plant systems, construction of two boreholes to supply water for the RO plants,
construction of RO plant building, construction of water storage tanks, construction of brine
discharge outfall, preparation of catchment areas, establishment of water treatment systems,
laying of pipe networks for water distribution and rainwater collection, and household
Currently the main sources of water in the island are shallow wells constructed in individual
households or in public areas (e.g. a mosque). This is supplemented by collection of rainwater.
These methods provide inadequate quantity and unacceptable quality due to the over abstraction,
pollution from past sewage disposal system of septic tanks and the unreliability of rainwater
harvesting. A reverse osmosis desalination plant of capacity 10 ton is in operation, but the
production capacity of this plant is not sufficient to meet the public water demand.
All project activities will be in conformance to the laws and regulations of the Maldives, and
relevant international conventions that Maldives is party to. The key laws and regulations
applicable to this project are: Environmental Protection and Preservation Act, Environmental
Impact Assessment Regulation 2012, Desalination Systems Regulations, and Waste
Management Regulation 2013.
The proposed site is located on the northern side of the island just within the old vegetation line.
The site is comprised of beach vegetation mainly and has not been used in the past for any
purpose. No trees of significant importance are required to be removed for this project. Marine
surveys conducted at the proposed brine outfall location showed that the area is made up of
mainly dead corals with sparsely distributed juvenile coral patches. No major live coral colonies
were observed within this area. Current flow on the northeast corner, where brine outfall is
proposed to be located, is expected to be high for most part of the year.
The assessment shows that the RO systems can be developed on the island with limited
implications on the environment. The assessment shows that the proposed developments involve
significant impacts on the marine environment and terrestrial environment due to brine outfall
construction, brine discharge, ground excavation and operation of vehicles and machinery. The
project also involves moderately significant health and safety risks due to equipment handling
and pollution. However, the predicted impacts can be minimized considerably with the proposed
mitigation measures. Significant impacts of operation stage include marine degradation due to
brine discharge ,increased GHG emissions due to RO plant and operation of pumps stations, and
increased cost of living due to additional cost in purchasing water. The assessment shows that
the proposed project has many positive impacts including improved quality and accessibility to
potable water, protection of groundwater aquifer, reduction of water related disaster risk, and
increased employment and business opportunities
The alternatives evaluated for the project are „No Project‟ alternative and alternative brine
outfall locations. The “No Project” option is not deemed preferable, given the disadvantages of
existing situation of potable water in the island. An alternative site was explored as brine outfall
locations, by reducing the length of the outfall. Due to better flushing, the proposed longer
option was preferred.
Monitoring plan is designed to assess any changes to the coral reef environment of the island,
terrestrial environment, the ground and marine water quality, as these are the key areas that will
be impacted from this project.
The management plan for this project is designed to produce a framework for anticipated
impacts, including practicable and achievable performance requirements and systems for
monitoring, reporting and implementing corrective actions. In addition provide evidence of
compliance to legislation, policies, guidelines and requirements of relevant authorities.
Stakeholder consultations for this EIA were conducted with Didhdhoo Island Council,
Dhidhdhoo FENAKA Office, public of Dhidhdhoo, and Health Protection Agency (HPA). In
general, all stakeholders consulted were supportive of the proposed project.
In conclusion, this project has been designed in conformance to the relevant laws and regulations
of Maldives. The most significant impacts are expected to be short-term impacts for the
construction phase. Operational stage impacts are mainly limited to brine out fall location and
emission due to power generation. However, mitigation measures have been proposed to
adequately minimise these significant impacts.|