Supporting vulnerable communities in Maldives to manage climate change-induced water shortages

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From May 9, 2017 to December 23, 2022

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 11.a Strengthen national and regional development planning
  2. 13.b Build capacity for climate change planning, management
  3. 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

Project ID: 5705

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Technical team

  • Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Climate resilient integrated water resource and coastal management


  • Marine


  • General

Transformed sector(s)

  • Agriculture

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Convening / Partnerships / Knowledge Sharing
  • Institutional mechanism and system building


  • Capacity building
  • Technology innovation


  • Institutional capacity building
  • Infrastructure building
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Integrated water resource management

Social inclusion


Gender equality


Gender result effectiveness scale



  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 11.a Strengthen national and regional development planning
  • 13.b Build capacity for climate change planning, management
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

Conventions and protocols


Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • SIDS
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

About this project


The outer islands of the Maldives experiences drinking water shortages during the dry season. These shortages have had significant adverse human, environmental and social impacts on the outer island communities where 27% of population lives under the poverty line of US$2/per day. The key problems pertaining to freshwater security relate to the increasingly variable rainfall patterns induced by climate change and sea-level rise induced salinity of groundwater. As confirmed by the IPCC and RIMES reports, sea level rise of 3.1mm/year and decreasing rainfall amounts will considerably compound current water stress in the country. The Government faces constraints in responding to the challenge at hand without assistance, especially in the context of anticipated impacts of climate change. Firstly, the precarious fiscal status that confronts the Government limits the response options to this emerging crisis to largely reactive emergency measures. Longer-term solutions, without additional financial support, are out of reach. Secondly, a dispersed and small population on 186 islands prevents the possibility of economies of scale in providing water and sanitation services, including capital infrastructure.In response to this climate challenge, the proposed project objective is to deliver safe and secure freshwater to 105,000 people in the islands of Maldives in the face of climate change risks. This will be achieved by delivering the following results:a.Scaling up an integrated water supply system to provide safe water to vulnerable households;b.Introduction of decentralized and cost-effective dry season water supply systems; c.Groundwater quality improved to secure freshwater reserves for long term resilience. The proposed adaptation solution is to maximize water production and scale up the use of an integrated water supply system that will bring three primary sources of water (rainwater, groundwater and desalinated water) into a least cost delivery system that is able to maintain service levels in the face of climate change related pressures. A paradigm shift will be achieved by addressing the main barriers to implementing integrated water supply systems (cost recovery; management capacity; and institutional mandates, coordination and policy direction). Replication potential is high considering the legislative mandate to provide clean water in the 2008 Constitution of the country. The project is based on national priorities and has been endorsed by the National Designated Authority for Maldives.


The proposed project contributes to climate-resilient development pathways in Maldives specifically in the water sector. A year round self-sufficiency at the target atoll and island level is the main transformative achievement of the project. Such water self-sufficiency will be achieved on the outer islands where the most vulnerable parts of population reside. The sustained impact of project measures will have high potential for replicability and scale potentially covering at least to 61% of total population of the Maldives population. .

USD $23,636,364

Grant amount

USD $4,593,940

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Green Climate Fund Common ($23,636,364)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Ministry of Enviroment and Energy

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation