The Energy and Water Agency presented the Integrated Water Resources Management Framework at the Side Event for ‘Islands for Sustainability – Delivering SDG6 in Small Island States’. The event was addressed by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise, Miriam Dalli. Manuel Sapiano, CEO of the Energy and Water Agency, spoke about ‘Achieving SDG 6 in Small Island States – Development of an Island Water Management Toolbox under the LIFE IP RBMP-Malta Project.’

Small Island States face significant challenges in managing their water resources due to factors such as isolation, limited land availability, and population variability. These challenges are compounded by the effects of climate change, which put additional pressure on the natural water environment. However, the LIFE IP RBMP MALTA project is working to address these challenges and provide sustainable solutions that can be adapted to other small island states. The project aims to develop a toolbox of water management measures that address the specific challenges faced by small semi-arid Mediterranean Island States, such as Malta. This includes the concept of non-conventional water resources (NCWR), which emphasizes the importance of energy use in water management. During the event, Manuel Sapiano stated that “The project brings together national stakeholders to ensure the alignment of water and other sectoral policies, and the main outcome is a toolkit of broad-ranging water management tools that could be adapted to other islands facing similar challenges.”

The project envisages a capitalization action in the Mediterranean region, where the main outcomes of the project are disseminated with water managers in other Small Islands. The aim is to ensure that Malta’s experience in the water sector can be shared to support other islands’ water supply security and the achievement of the main objectives under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The side event explored opportunities for developing a collaborative framework between Small Island States that can be presented as a commitment to support the achievement of SDG 6 objectives in Small Island States. Representatives of the European Commission, the Global Water Partnership, the International Network of Basin Organizations, and Malta’s Water Services Corporation participated in the moderated discussion.

Overall, the LIFE IP RBMP MALTA project is an excellent example of how innovative and sustainable solutions can be developed to address the unique water management challenges faced by Small Island States. Through collaborative efforts and knowledge sharing, it is possible to support the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 6, in Small Island States around the world.

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