News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maldives tourist islands have had desalination since late 1970s, each tourist island has its own desalination plant-Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority

"In the resort islands, desalinated water has been used since the late 1970's. Each island has its own small desalination plant.

"Water Resources Management in Maldives with an emphasis on desalination," Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority

p. 1: "The Republic of Maldives is a chain of nearly 1900 tiny coral islands, which are grouped into 26 geographic atolls....The island archipelago is located approximately 500km (310 miles) southwest of India....
 
p. 2: There are no rivers or streams in any of the islands of Maldives, and only a few wetlands or freshwater lakes. The country’s freshwater resources exist as groundwater in basal aquifers, generally unconfined in nature and extending below sea level in the form of a thin fresh water lens. They are vulnerable to saline intrusion owing to the freshwater-seawater interaction and need to be carefully managed to avoid over-exploitation....

Desalination is considered as an expensive alternative in Maldives, but one that is necessary in some islands. Desalination is widely used in the 87 tourist resorts. These are islands set aside solely for tourists, and each island has its own small desalination plant. This is only an affordable option because the islands are generating substantial revenue from the tourists....

Traditionally, people have used water from mosque wells and other designated wells for drinking purposes. Access to safe water has been a major problem for the people of   Maldives. The 19th Century historian H.C.P Bell identified the risk of groundwater contamination due to poor sanitation and recommended the development of rainwater tanks (Bell, 1883)....

p. 3: In 1972 the population of Male’ was 15,279. Because of the rapid development of Male’, with respect to other islands, people from other islands started migrating to the capital resulting in an unnatural population boom. The quantity of water drawn from Male’s aquifer increased tremendously, and also with more sewage being disposed off into the ground made it more susceptible to groundwater pollution. Water borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, shigella and typhoid started spreading due to poor sanitary conditions....

Detailed surveys were carried out in 1980/1981 by consulting engineers Binnie and Partners. Subsequently, with assistance from West German Aid, the Saudi Fund for Development and the European Commission, the Government implemented the Male’ Water Supply and Sewerage Project in 1985.... 

1990s
 
Still the population of Male’ continued to grow and increasing pressure was placed upon the island’s freshwater lens. Though the new sewerage scheme helped to alleviate the pollution of the lens by septic tanks and soakaways, it contributed to another problem. The increased volumes of groundwater  being used to flush toilets were no longer returning to the aquifer but were being discharged to the sea. The salinity of the aquifer increased sharply as a result, limiting its usefulness as a resource. Because the available roof catchment area and the space available for rainwater storage was too limited to  provide for Male’s increasing population, desalination became one of the few options available for  providing sufficient safe water for Male....

p. 4: In the resort islands, desalinated water has been used since the late 1970's. Each island has its own small desalination plant. Bottled water is generally used for drinking while desalinated water is used for cooking and bathing. Rainwater is sometimes collected for staff to drink, and groundwater is sometimes used for irrigation, though neither resource is used to its full extent. On a few resorts treated wastewater is used for irrigation."...
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Maldives is building 11 more airports each with hotel and yacht marina:
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July 16, 2009: "11 new airports to be constructed in Maldives," Maldives Tourism Update
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"The Government is working to construct 11 new regional airports in 11 regions and work is under way to complete them as soon as possible....
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The Minister further said the construction work of these airports have been handed to Airports Investment Management Company which is a company established for this project. There will be a 200 bed hotel, a yacht marina and a transit hotel in every airport in order to make the airport viable and facilitate tourism and travellers.




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