|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 Fonadhoo, Laamu 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 L. Fonadhoo by establishing a proper potable water supply system that will provide
clean and safe water for the residents of L.Fonadhoo. 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 150cbm/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 island population sources water from 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 the existing sewage disposal system of septic tanks and the unreliability of
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 location for RO plant is a reclaimed area with ground cover species such as
grasses and few shrubs. 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 a thick sea grass bed. No coral colonies were observed within this area. Current flow
on the western lagoon, where brine outfall is proposed to be located, is expected to be low for
most part of the year. This may lead to flushing issues during some periods 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. Two alternative sites were explored as brine
outfall locations, both in the same location as the proposed outfall location but with different
lengths; (i) outfall pipe 700m from the site and (ii) 350m from the site. Alternative option 2 is
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 Fonadhoo Island Council, Fonadhoo
Utility and Telecommunications providers, public of Fonadhoo, and National Centre for
Information Technology (NCIT). In general, all stakeholders consulted were supportive of the
proposed project. The island council and public expressed strong expectations from the 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.|