World Water Day 22 March
On this World Water Day, Nature Trust Malta calls upon the Government to show strong leadership on water
issues both at home and abroad.
“As EU president and chair-in- office of the Commonwealth Malta has the unique opportunity to advocate on
global water issues,” Nature Trust’s President Vincent Attard stated. “Many countries are already facing
severe droughts and /or unprecedented flooding and will face the progressive worsening of these problems
due to the growing impact of climate change. Malta itself is classified as one of the most ‘water poor’ nations
on the planet while the Mediterranean will be amongst the regions hardest hit by climate change.”
“Malta urgently needs a formal national water plan emerging from an inclusive national dialogue bringing
together all stakeholders. Parliament should then enact a long-term national water strategy, aligned with both
the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 and existing Mediterranean initiatives. Also needed is a
clear delineation and reorganisation of responsibilities of the current water governance structure.”
“Malta island’s mean sealevel aquifer is its main source of freshwater – but increasingly threatened by the
rising sea level caused to climate change which increases the water’s salt content. Already about 60% of our
water comes from seawater desalination – which is energy intensive, producing large quantities of waste and
is vulnerable to any major oil spill offshore, or suspension of supplies due to some political crisis in the
region. Continued reliance on this source is inevitable but the nation must make every effort to maximise our
own resources, through water saving, maximum possible capture of rainwater, stormwater and reuse of
treated waste water from the current sewage plants”.
“We commend the WSC’s water saving tips posted on its website – but these should be enclosed in every
water bill sent to consumers. The identification, registration and metering of currently illegal boreholes must
be completed, and a strategy worked out to bill their owners for withdrawals. Government purchases from
private (bowser) suppliers must also be critically reviewed . \So must the growing numbers of swimming
pools and car washing facilities and of what water they use – fresh or recycled? ”.
“Agriculture remains the leading water user. Under the Strategy we propose farmers must be strongly
motivated to conserve and capture water on-site, enabled to use polished wastewater and review their current
cropping patterns so as to progressively adopt less water-intensive and more drought resistant strains”.
“Water capture and storage systems must be mandatory in all new buildings and fiscal incentives offered to
all building owners to instal such systems, or revive systems originally built into the structure which are now
Nature Trust Malta has been actively contributing to improving Malta’s water situation as local manager of
the international Alter Aqua project on non-conventional resources. NTM has trained 926 educators while
some 10358 students have attended interactive workshops conducted by Ekoskola (80% of schools) teachers
and at the Xrobb l’Ghagin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre where applications can be made
for training. Nature Trust also partners with HBSC in its’Catch the Drop’ project.