Rain in Malta is not an everyday sight, which is partly why the country is so popular with tourists. That said, it is also why freshwater resources have been a challenge throughout the archipelago’s history.
Not only does Malta have a semi-arid Mediterranean climate, but it also has a high (and growing) population density, and the small size of its islands makes it challenging to develop economically viable surface water resources. As a result, Malta’s natural water supplies are not sufficient, even if used sustainably.
To address these challenges, Malta is following the EU’s Water Framework Directive, which commits all EU member states to achieving a good quantity and quality of water. For Malta, the Water Framework Directive focuses on broadening our national water supply by using non-conventional water resources, which include:
- Desalination of seawater,
- Reuse of treated wastewaters, and
- Harvesting of rainwater runoff in urban and rural areas.
The Framework also recognises the important role of water demand management, as increasing water use efficiency reduces the need to produce additional water resources.
The Water Unit at the Energy and Water Agency works to ensure that all avenues are considered (social, economic and technological) to address Malta’s water management challenges. We steer, promote and highlight Malta’s approach to adopting and adapting existing practices to address the present and future challenges in the water sector.
Climate change is a growing crisis across the EU and the world, and it is therefore an environmental factor that Malta needs to increasingly consider. When looking at the national water sector, rising temperatures, low annual precipitation and an increase in high-intensity rainfall events in Malta are all huge factors to think about. In this context, the Water Framework Directive aims to augment supply while reducing demand, thereby approaching these climate challenges as opportunities to further develop the resilience of Malta’s water sector in the face of more extreme environments.
The Energy and Water Agency’s mission to develop sustainable water solutions is supported through the implementation of a variety of EU and nationally funded initiatives, which aim to increase the country’s water supply while educating the Maltese population about our water challenges.
Water in Malta
The Energy & Water Agency aims to enhance Malta’s water environment while ensuring the sustainable use and development of its water resources. To achieve this, available water resources need to be managed well, and it is important to encourage local engagement to sustain them.
Paving the way for this comprehensive and participatory approach to water management are the European Water Directives, which also call for the development of River Basin Management Plans to achieve the EU’s environmental objectives in the water sector. Learn More
The Energy & Water Agency values the implementation of national and EU-funded projects to develop new and improved approaches to water policy. One of the key projects currently being coordinated by the Water Unit is the LIFE Integrated Project, which supports the implementation of Malta’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan and will also support the execution of future water management plans.
Public awareness of Malta’s water resources is also a critical component for effective policymaking. This is why the Energy & Water Agency is implementing a national campaign (www.water.org.mt), aiming to raise awareness among the Maltese population on the importance of using our available water resources efficiently and sustainably.
Reliable and updated information on Malta’s water resources is also essential for effective water resource management. To this end, the Energy & Water Agency is implementing a dedicated project (CF. PA10.0096) to upgrade and develop the monitoring infrastructure necessary to assess the status of natural water resources in Malta. The information acquired will enable us to determine the impact of the water management measures being implemented and help us optimise the implementation of future measures. Learn More
The Energy & Water Agency’s mission to develop sustainable water solutions is supported by a range of EU-funded initiatives. Key projects currently being implemented by the Water Unit include:
- The LIFE integrated project
- Enhanching public awareness of efficient use of water resource
- Water – be the change
- The rehabiliation of Chadwick lakes
- Nature-based solutions for domestic water reuse in Mediterranean countreas (NAWAMED)
- Incircle – Making tourisim more sustainable
- ConsumeLess plus – An eco-project to strengthen the tousism sector
- GeoERA tactic, resource and hover
- Green infrastructure ot mitigate flood risks in urban and suburban areas to improve the quality of rainwater discharges (GIFLUID)