Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges in Maldives arising from climate change. Freshwater is the most important water resource in the country; however, it’s quality and quantity are highly affected by climate variations and human activities such as urbanisation of the country and water use for agriculture. Moreover, intrusion of saline water deteriorates the quality of freshwater resources. Existing poor agricultural practices, such as use of dug wells as fertiliser mixing containers which causes leaching of fertilisers into freshwater resources, further intensifies this problem. Depletion of freshwater resources due to uncontrolled usage in the absence of appropriate means to regulate results in the threats to groundwater aquifers on the islands of Maldives.
Excessive groundwater extraction has led to saline water intrusion and reduction of the efficiency of its natural recharge processes. In particular, during drought season, over-pumping can alter the size of the groundwater aquifer and limit recovery to its former size. Therefore, it is vital to develop and deploy an efficient method for groundwater extraction in order to ensure sustainable use of limited water resources with minimum impact on the aquifers in Maldives.
Design and installation of an infiltration gallery system for groundwater extraction to ensure sustainable use of limited water resources with minimum impact on the aquifers in HDh.Nolhivaranfaru Island.
Through this project, a sustainable groundwater extraction system for agricultural practices will be established, and unpolluted groundwater aquifers will be protected in HDh.Nolhivaranfaru Island.
Findings from the technical assistance would support the country to promote sustainable groundwater extraction and management for agricultural practices in HDh.Nolhivaranfaru Island. In particular, by establishing and operating the infiltration gallery system, it is expected that unpolluted groundwater aquifers would be protected in the island. Moreover, the capacity and knowledge of farming communities in the island and agriculture-related stakeholders on sustainable agricultural practices and water use efficiency for agriculture would be strengthened. Based on findings from the project, it is also expected that point groundwater extraction methods currently used in other islands could be replaced with the proposed infiltration gallery system, which would contribute to increasing the capacity of climate resilience with sustainable water supply for agriculture in Maldives.