Boa vista, cape verde


Boa vista, cape verde

GTI Awards 2020 – Water

General information:

Island (Region, Province, Country):

Boa vista, cape verde

14,451 (2015)

Budget / cost of the project:
Euro 330.000


Project objectives:

The project objective is to allow access to clean and affordable water to farmers and to a rural community in the island of Boa Vista through the desalination of brackish water, using only solar energy. The solution provided and funded by Genius Watter will be a turning point for the Archipelago of Cape Verde as it will create the conditions for the development of sustainable agriculture in the island and will allow the local community to enjoy clean drinking water for the next 30+ years. The system is being installed on the site and will be operational by the 15/12/2020.


Project description of activities and specific interventions:

Source of water: Borehole at 6.000 ppm

Technology: Genius Watter RO, 100% solar powered with 57,40 kWp, without batteries, fully containerized and automatic.

Water output: 58 m3/day clean water for irrigation + 17 m3/day potable water for the community

    • Current status: the farmers of “Associação Varandinha” have been using about 30 m3/day of brackish water to irrigate approximately 800 square metres of land, with an increasing phenomenon of soil contamination and reduction of the crops’ productivity, due to the high water salinity.
    • Outcome: Genius Watter funded 100% of the project, allowing the farmers community to benefit from clean water supplied at a price as low as 100 ECV/m3 (Eur 0,91/m3), totally affordable for the agriculture of Boavista.

This solution will allow the farmers to cultivate twice as much the land previously used, duplicate the crops production and, consequently, the economical income.

    • Current status: the nearby community of 251 inhabitants, Povoação Velha, located at 3,5 km from the borehole and 50m higher altitude, is currently purchasing about 30 m3/week of poor quality water being transported by truck at 1.600 ECV/m3 (Eur 14,55/m3), whereas the local municipality subsidizes that water for 600 ECV/m3 (Eur 5,43/m3).
    • Outcome: the Genius Watter system will supply to the community 17 m3/day of potable water (4 time the current quantity), through a 3,5km pipe, without any investment needed by them, at a price of 450 ECV/m3 (Eur 4,07/m3), resulting in great savings and the availability of abundant and high quality water.


Public outreach, education and awareness efforts and results:

This project will be a great showcase to the Archipelago of Cape Verde and other islands of the world being affected by droughts and water scarcity, demonstrating that it is possible to create the conditions for sustainable and resilient agriculture development and to provide clean drinking water for communities, using brackish groundwater and the power of the sun.

The project is in line with The National Strategic Plan of the Government of Cape Verde, powered by FAO, which aims to provide strategic guidance to ensure to anyone the right to clean water and promote the development of Cape Verde via the integrated improvement of water supply conditions, sanitation and hygiene, safeguarding the sustainable use of natural resources and the environment.


Economic value added and how calculated:

Project implementation: Start 25/11/2020; Expected to be operational at 15/12/2020.

The total value of the project is Eur 330.000 and it is 100% funded by Genius Watter, who will supply 58 m3/day of water at 0,91 €/m3 to the farmers and 17 m3/day at 4,07 €/m3 to the community.

The farmers will be able to considerably increase their income (it will become soon more than double) as they will be able to cultivate twice the land actually used and to increase the crops quality and productivity. The system is also capable to provide fertirrigation, thus reducing the consumption of chemical additives to cultivate.

The community “Povoação Velha” will benefit from the access of clean drinking water (not only potabilized but also re-mineralized) in much greater volume per capita, while saving Eur 1.235.000 in 20 years (Actual price 14,55 €/m3 – Genius Watter price 4,07 €/m3 * quantity of water supplied in 20 years 114.562 m3).


Ecological and social project outcomes:

The system, more than giving assurance on low and stable prices of water for decades, will allow to avoid the emission of 1.523 tons of Co2 in 20 years, if the same amount of water was desalinated with a diesel powered desalination unit (see attached demonstration), without considering the pollution from the trucks to transport water to the community.

The social and economical benefits will be huge, as the implementation of this project will allow the development of the rural economy, increasing labour opportunities, improving quality standards, health and hygiene of the local community.

This solution will also help preventing the diaspora, a phenomenon that is continuously increasing in Cape Verde and many other islands affected by severe droughts.

Project layout, indicating unit location, irrigated area, distance from the sea and from the community.
Trucks approaching the site in Boa Vista before the installation.