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100% Solar Desalination Unit, Brava


This project is closed since 31.03.2023.

Cabo Verde
LuxDev's country office
Cabo Verde Office

Water and sanitation
2021 - 2025

Implementation period
April 2021 - March 2023
Total duration
24 months

Total budget
3,000,000 EUR
Contribution breakdown
  • Luxembourg Government
    3,000,000 EUR

This project involves the installation and implementation of a seawater desalination unit for human consumption on the island of Brava. The unit will operate 100% on solar energy. The project subscribes to the intention of improving access to water in disadvantaged areas and putting the island of Brava 100% on energy from renewable sources.

With a resident population of 5 521 and an average age of 31.4 years, of which 50.9% are women, the island of Brava has 2 128 households. 99.5% of the population has access to electricity and 94.6% to water through the public grid. Although these statistics show a high level of access to safe drinking water, most households do not have access to water continuously and in sufficient quantities.

On Brava, the supply of fresh water is provided by a spring, called the Nascente do Encontro, which currently supplies the entire network. As a result of recent seismic events affecting the islands of Fogo and Brava, considerable groundwater losses have been noted and the availability of fresh water has decreased from 700 m³/day to 300 m³/day. The price of water on Brava remains very high (given the pumping of water by fossil fuels), between 267 ECV/m³ (or 2.42 EUR/ m³) for a consumption below 6 m³ and 385 ECV/m³, (3.5 EUR/m³) for consumption above 10 m³.

The new desalination plant, located in the Furna area, will have a production capacity of between 250 and 300 m³/day. This will increase access to continuous drinking water, ensure the eventual production and distribution of water at affordable rates and ensure the total absence of CO2 emissions once the unit is operational.

Faced with water shortages, the serious consequences for the health of the population, but also for agriculture and economic activity of the island, the government of Cabo Verde, the municipality of Brava and the intermunicipal water company of the islands of Fogo and Brava, Aguabrava, agreed on the urgency of equipping the island of Brava with a desalination unit by requesting support from the Luxembourg cooperation.

The project will therefore install a desalination unit operated 100% via solar energy including pumping and storage of water. To access the site, the construction of a 1 km long road from the Furna reservoir to the desalination unit site is required. This road will guarantee access to carry out the works, operations, and maintenance afterwards. Currently there is no secure access to this area.

The impact of this intervention concerns the entire population of Brava, ensuring universal and continuous access to safe drinking water through sustainable production and distribution with the total absence of CO2 emissions. The intermediate beneficiaries will be the municipality of Brava and the intermunicipal water company Aguabrava by enhancing capacity and skills in the operationalization and maintenance of the unit and the system in its entirety.