Consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues in preparation for Malta’s 3rd River Basin Management Plan
Under the implementation process of the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD), Malta is required to prepare its 3rd River Basin Management Plan (3rd RBMP) for the third cycle of implementation of the WFD by the 22nd March 2022. The River Basin Management Plan provides a status assessment of inland and coastal waters in the Maltese islands, and identifies the measures necessary to enable the progressive achievement of good status conditions in these water bodies.
The process leading to the formulation of this management plan includes an extensive stakeholder consultation process, in order to ensure that this plan takes due consideration of the stakeholders’ expectations for Malta’s national water environment. In preparation for the development of the draft 3rd RBMP, the WFD requires specific consultation exercises focusing on the timetable for the formulation of Malta’s 3rd River Basin Management Plan and the identification of Significant Water Management Issues.
Each of these consultation exercises was open for a period of six months whereby the general public and key stakeholders were encourages to submit their feedback either through focused meetings or online. The report identifying the key Significant Water Management Issues, which report is available for download here, encouraged stakeholders to read and submit their feedback on the identified issues online. The feedback received from these consultation exercises is assisting in the drafting of the 3rd River Basin Management Plan.
Implementation of Malta’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan
The 2nd River Basin Management Plan (2nd RBMP) addresses the environmental objectives set out by the WFD based on economic principles of cost recovery and social considerations via stakeholder consultation. Malta’s 2nd RBMP includes a programme of measures developed to address Malta’s significant water management measures, thus providing a tangible implementation framework to ensure the achievement of the WFD’s environmental objectives for the water sector by 2021.
Malta’s 2nd RBMP (click here to download) includes focused management plans for extreme events including the Drought Risk Management Plan and the Flood Risk Management Plan, for which an extract can be downloaded from the following link: Management Plan for Extreme Events.
Development of Malta’s 2nd Flood Risk Management Plan
The EU through the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) entrusted all Member States, and therefore Malta, to assess and manage the flood risk by means of the production of flood risk management plans aiming at the reduction of the adverse consequences for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity associated with different flood scenarios.
In order to achieve this important objective, each Member State updates the flood risk management plans for each river basin district (RBD) every 6 years initially through the development of the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) and subsequently through the Flood Hazard Maps (FHM) and Flood Risk Maps (FRM).
The updated PFRA, available here, is the initial step in the development of the 2nd FRMP. The objective of this PFRA is to identify Areas with Potentially Significant Flood Risk (APSFR), namely areas within the country where the risk of flooding is considered as significant. These areas have been identified by considering available or readily derivable information, such as records and studies on recent and long-term developments, floods which have occurred during the last planning cycle and also the impact of climate change on the occurrence of floods.
The PFRA enabled the development of updated FHMs and FRMs that identify the extents and risks of floods within specific areas. The technical report detailing the approach adopted for the development of these maps is available here. The FHMs and FRMs shall be continually under review to ensure that the maps and information presented therein are updated accordingly based on the existing stage of knowledge. The FHMs and FRMs will now guide the development of measures for risk aversion within Malta’s 2nd FRMP.
The implementation of the Floods Directive is coupled with a process of public consultation. Interested stakeholders are therefore invited to submit their comments on the identified potentially significant flood risk areas in the PFRA and the FHMs and FRMs by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to EWA at:
Floods Directive Consultation
Energy and Water Agency
Pinto Business Centre
Ħal Qormi QRM 3104