FAOLEX Database

Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply
No legislation available

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 11 August 2020

Right to water: Every citizen has specified rights pursuant to this Constitution, and the State undertakes to achieve the progressive realization of these rights by reasonable measures within its ability and resources. rights include adequate and nutritious food and clean water (Art. 23).

Natural resources: The State has a fundamental duty to protect and preserve the natural environment, biodiversity, resources and beauty of the country for the benefit of present and future generations (Art. 22). All living, non-living and naturally occurring resources of value within the Exclusive Economic Zone and the seabed of the Maldives shall vest in the State. Economic and social rights shall incdlude equal access to natural resources (Art. 23). It shall be the duty of every citizen to preserve and protect the natural environment, biodiversity, resources and beauty of the country and to abstain from all forms of pollution and ecological degradation (Art. 67).


Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture
No legislation available

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage
Date of text: 11 August 1996


The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations
No legislation available


Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems
Date of text: 11 August 1996
Date of text: 11 August 1996

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment
Date of text: 11 August 1996

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards
Date of text: 11 August 1996
Date of text: 11 August 1996


Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology
No legislation available

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system
No legislation available

Transboundary Waters

Transboundary effects; international basin institutions; international agreements; transboundary coordination; transboundary aquifers
No legislation available