Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia announced a national plan aimed at improving water conservation in Malta, a project co-financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund.
During a press conference, Minister Joe Mizzi stated that this project will also help in the implementation of the national water management plan (River Basin Management Plan), which is part of the EU Water Framework Directive. It addresses two key aspects of the same directive: the management of the demand for water and the improvement of monitoring systems of water sources.
He explained that the project would entail the launch of a national water conservation campaign targeting all sectors—domestic, agricultural and commercial—in order to study the efficient use of water in all areas of society. This will include the development of water monitoring networks, making use of the best technology and practices available. These networks will enable more specific identification of issues in the status of the water table, and therefore, allow for more targeted action towards resolving such issues.
Minister Mizzi noted that this project will see the implementation of two measures from the Government’s programme for the current legislature, that is the distribution of water-saving kits, and the development of monitoring networks for the water table.
This project is valued at €21 million and will focus on two principal components. Parliamentary Secretary for European funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia explained that the first component will consist of the gathering of data, which will include the monitoring of groundwater, while the second will focus on a campaign to make the public more aware of the local challenges related to water resources. This campaign is to be conducted through the use of social media, workshops and informative house visits where water kits will also be distributed. Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said that upon its completion, the campaign is set to reach around 100,000 households.
The Parliamentary Secretary also stated that whilst ensuring that there is continuous economic growth, the Government is committed to sustainable development, ensuring that today’s actions do not have a negative impact on tomorrow’s generation. Dr Farrugia concluded by saying that actions funded by the EU need to be regarded within the context of an overall plan of action which the Government is currently implementing, which makes use of different sources of funding intended to ensure a coherent approach towards protecting our environment.