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close this bookWater Supply: Water Supply, Wastewater, Irrigation - Initial Environmental Assessment Series No. 7 (NORAD, 1994)
close this folderPart II: Documentation requirements for initial environmental assessment
View the document1 Project description
View the document2 Description of the environment
View the document3 Checklist

1 Project description

As a basis for initial assessment, a description of the project must be available. In most cases it will be relevant to present several alternative technical solutions and localities. Activities in the construction phase as well as the operational phase of the project must be included.

This description will to a certain extent be based on the regular technical and economic description of the project, possibly after consultations with project planners or other relevant institutions in the country in question. The following questions aim to elicit information that is relevant with regard to environmental impacts. Relatively detailed information may be required concerning production processes, use of inputs, localisation etc.. The information resulting from the initial assessment can be included in the project document being presented for approval. In the case of more comprehensive projects, the information can be collected in an appendix to this document. The following specifies what is considered as essential background information for an initial environmental assessment:

a. The need for the project. Give a brief description of how the need for the project has emerged. What are the purposes of the project? Who are the target group(s) among the population? Is the project focusing one or more parts of a more extensive system within water supply, drainage or irrigation? Will the project entail new construction or upgrading of existing facilities? Are activities within other sectors, such as industry, tourism etc., expected as a result of the project?

b. Alternatives considered. Give a brief presentation of localisation alternatives, including technical alternatives that have been discussed with regard to the project. If possible, give a brief description of any differences in infrastructure requirements etc.. The 0-alternative, that is the impacts of not implementing the project, may also be relevant to consider.

c. Description of the project and potential main alternatives. Give a relatively comprehensive description of the alternative(s) that are viewed as relevant. This description should include e.g. choice of technology, localisation of any facilities with relevant map references, transport needs, labour requirements and impacts on existing or planned activities in the area. This information should cover both the constructional and the operational phases.

d. Conditions for project implementation. Give an account of the public and private physical initiatives (infrastructure, etc.) and any other external prerequisites that are necessary for the implementation of the project e.g. participation of the local population, local institutional and administrative conditions, including their environmental competence.