IWRM: Increasing climate resilience through an Integrated Water Resource Management Programme in HA. Ihavandhoo, ADh. Mahibadhoo and GDh. Gadhdhoo Island


 freshwater is a scarce resource in Maldivian islands. Photo: Veronica Wijaya/UNDP Maldives 2006.

The project will address the significant, climate change-induced decline of freshwater security that is affecting vulnerable communities in the Maldives. As surface freshwater is generally lacking throughout the country, the key problems pertaining to long-term freshwater security relate to the management of increasingly variable rainwater resources and increasingly saline and polluted groundwater. The project will demonstrate climate-smart freshwater management in the Maldivian context and establish integrated and resilient water supply systems on the densely populated islands of Haa Alif Ihavandhoo, Alif Dhaal Mahibadhoo and Gaafu Dhaal Gadhdhoo Islands, with a view on country-wide replication and up scaling.

Our Work

 In many islands, freshwater is not available in the households and people have to walk the distance to access water from the communal taps. Photo: UNDP Maldives 2012.

With strong involvement from all the stakeholders, the concept designs for the IWRM system was developed and approved in 2012. The concept integrates rainwater harvesting, ground water recharging and supplying of desalinated water in order to combat the shortage of drinking water faced in these three islands during dry periods. Based on further studies and consultations, detailed designs were developed and approved by Environmental Protection Agency of Maldives in April 2013. Currently, call for bids for relevant works needed to implement the integrated water resource management systems in the three islands are advertised and work on the ground is expected to start within this year.

Paying for drinking water will be a new concept for these islands. Recognizing the need to ensure that the system is acceptable and affordable for the community, a willingness to pay survey is currently underway in the three islands.

As IWRM is a relatively new concept to the Maldives, the project is developing an awareness strategy which can be used in the target three islands and nationwide to raise awareness on IWRM and good practices of water management.


YEARS 2011-2015 TOTAL US$ 8,285,000
Adaptation Fund US$ 8,285,000


YEAR 2012
Adaptation Fund US$ 243,858.27
YEAR 2013
Adaptation Fund US$ 386,000.00