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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed water supply system in Guraidhoo, Kaafu Atoll
Authors: CDE Consulting
Keywords: Water production supply system
Reverse Osmosis plant
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Existing physical environment
Existing biological environment
Existing terrestrial environment
Existing marine environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental management plan
Environmental monitoring plan
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Jul-2016
Citation: CDE Consulting. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed water supply system in Guraidhoo, Kaafu Atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The purpose of this document is to fulfil the requirements to get necessary environmental clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency to install the proposed Water Production Supply System at Guraidhoo, Kaafu. Atoll. The proponent of this project is State Electric Company Limited. The main rationale for the project is to improve the health condition and quality of life of residents of K.Guraidhoo by establishing a proper potable water supply system that will provide clean and safe water for the residents of Guraidhoo. The project is intended at providing an integrated water supply system covering rainwater and desalinated water production and supply. The proposed project involves the establishment of an integrated water resource management system using the existing RO plant and rainwater harvesting system. The project will integrate the existing 2 RO plants of capacity 30 m3 per day to the water supply network. The project also involves establishment water supply network system and water storage tanks. Consequently, a 502 m3 RO tank will be established and rainwater holding tank of 1,007 m3 will be established. The project will utilise the existing borehole and brine outfall line for the project. Duration of the project is approximately 12 months. An area of 11,128.22 sq ft has been approved to implement the project. Currently the island population sources water from shallow wells constructed at individual households or in public areas. This is supplemented by collection of rainwater. These methods provide inadequate quantity and unacceptable quality due to the over abstraction and the unreliability of rainwater harvesting. 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 existing condition of the island and the existing RO plant site was assessed for this report. Assessments conducted include marine assessments at the existing brine outfall and alternative outfall location. Groundwater quality and baseline noise level measurements were also taken. The assessment shows that the water supply system 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 due to brine outfall construction, brine discharge and operation of vehicles and machinery. The project also involves moderately significant EIA for the proposed Water Supply System in Guraidhoo, Kaafu Atoll Prepared by: CDE Consulting Page|xiii 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 option were evaluated for the no project option and alternative brine outfall location. The “No Project” option is deemed infeasible, given the current condition of portable water. An alternative site for brine outfall was also explored, but given the advantages associated with the existing outfall, it is the preferred option. Recommendations have been made to use an alternative if plant size is expanded substantially. Monitoring plan is designed to assess any changes to the coral reef environment of the island, ground and marine water quality as these are the key areas that will be impacted from this project. Monitoring costs is estimated at USD 5,000 per annum. 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 were held with Guraidhoo Island council, Guraidhoo public and Health Protection Agency. A willingness-to-pay survey was also conducted during field assessments. Both Guraidhoo Island Council and public are in favour of this project. Guraidhoo public is also willing to pay for the service. HPA, currently does not have any regulations for quality of potable water, however they stressed the importance of disinfecting and treating water prior to releasing to the supply network. In conclusion, this project has been designed in conformance to the relevant laws and regulations of Maldives but requires final approval from EPA for the detailed drawings. The most significant impacts are expected to be short-term impacts for the construction phase. Operational stage impacts are mainly limited to brine outfall location and emission due to power generation. However, mitigation measures have been proposed to adequately minimise these significant impacts. Overall, the project will have positive impacts to the island community of Guraidhoo.
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