Enhancing Public Awareness of Efficient Use of Water Resources

An awareness-raising campaign is at the heart of this project, which aims to educate Maltese citizens and increase public awareness of the efficient use of water resources.

The project intends to precipitate a shift in people’s behaviour towards water conservation, as well as optimise the management of water resources in Malta.

The project has two main branches: publicity and information. The first involves a promotional campaign in Malta, which emphasises the environmental importance of conservation and efficient water use. The information branch optimises Malta’s ability to monitor the quantity and nature of naturally available water and to further develop the monitoring infrastructure necessary to reliably assess our water status.

The information branch will also explore the following to enable better water resource management:

  1. Natural Groundwater Systems

The project will conduct a detailed assessment of Malta’s hydrogeological characteristics (the distribution and movement of water in the earth) to better understand the islands’ natural groundwater systems. This will involve core drilling and downhole assessments to examine the characteristics of rocks, soil and minerals beneath the surface.

  1. Rainfall and Runoff Catchment-based Monitoring

The properties and movement of rainfall water in several catchments throughout the Maltese Islands will be monitored to gather data on rainfall, runoff, wind speed, solar radiation, and evaporation. This will reveal how rainfall runoff varies in different areas depending on how the land is used (for example, how rainfall runoff varies from agricultural land to urbanised areas).

  1. Unsaturated Zone Monitoring

A state-of-the-art monitoring network will be instated for the unsaturated zone (that is, the space under the land’s surface and above the flow of groundwater, where the gaps between soil or rock contain both water and air). The network will traverse different types of land and provide information on the movement and chemical composition of water in the unsaturated zone, indicating the quantity and quality of groundwater below.

  1. Freshwater-Saltwater Interface Monitoring

A network will be developed to monitor and predict change over time in locations where freshwater and saltwater meet. Watching this interface is essential for the effective management of Malta and Gozo’s coastal aquifer systems (groundwater systems that transport freshwater). The network will allow for the development of an early warning system to prevent saltwater from entering freshwater within the aquifers.

  1. Water Quality Response Functions

The project will model the water quality response function of Malta’s sea-level aquifer systems. The model will predict the quality of the water from public groundwater abstraction stations and be calibrated to reflect the real response of the aquifer system. With the model’s predictions, the project aims to introduce a groundwater abstraction strategy for the aquifer to achieve better water supply quality.

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