Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 January, 2024 at 2:23 pm by Andre Camilleri
The Water Services Corporation has announced a national investment plan amounting to €310 million, which are to be spent over the next 10 years on several projects.
41% of the total investment derives from EU funds, it was said.
During a press conference, Energy minister Miriam Dalli said that the aim of this plan is to increase the country’s water supply, whilst improving quality and keeping the economic plan in mind.
The comprehensive plan will address challenges from 2023-2033 such as water scarcity, climate change, and the need for efficient drainage management, said the Minister.
The plan will also establish a strategic framework for investment in water production and distribution, as well as wastewater treatment, with the aim of meeting the increasing demand for this resource from the population.
Approved by the Cabinet, some of the projects in the plan include the regeneration of the water network, the renovation of several reservoirs, the upgrading of several reverse osmosis plants, the treatment of drainage and the introduction of micro tunnelling, amongst others.
Amongst other set goals for the plan, there is a target to increase new water production to 109 cubic kilometre per three days, from the current 75 cubic kilometre, and the harmonisation of water quality.
The minister said that despite tap water being treated and in line with EU regulations of which standards make the water potable, there is still a problem with how it tastes in several localities. She said that the further a household is from a reverse osmosis the worse the water quality is.
In efforts to address this, Water Services Corporation CEO Karl Cilia explained that the plan is to mix every water source in the Ta Qali water reservoir before it is redistributed to households.
“In compliance with EU regulations, the new national investment plan strengthens our water infrastructure and paves the way for a more efficient and sustainable water management system, with more environmental benefits. This is a commitment to the health, environment, and the well-being of future generations of our country,” said Dalli.
Cilia said that the Corporation is at a crucial moment in the management of water resources. “This plan is a proactive demonstration of our dedication to ensuring the highest standards of water quality and service. Our emphasis on technology and innovation will lead us to unprecedented levels of efficiency and sustainability.”
The 10-year plan ensures Malta’s alignment with European standards in water management and promotes the concept of a circular economy by encouraging resource recovery and the reuse of reclaimed water. With the support of the Ministry, the Corporation secured €126 million in EU funds to finance part of this plan.
The year 2023 was a significant year for the Water Services Corporation, marked by a series of record achievements that highlight its central role in the management and sustainability of Malta’s water resources, it was said. These include a record reduction in Non-Revenue Water (water produced but lost before reaching the consumer), year after year, with a further reduction of 3.5% compared to the previous record year. Network efficiency has now reached 72.7%, up from 52% in 2011. There was also a record reduction in water leakage, with an Infrastructure Leakage Index of only 9.5% of water production compared to 13% in 2013. There was also a record resolution and payment of cases of excessive water use, reducing them to less than 100 cases. They also said that there was a record production of 36.7 million cubic meters of water, the highest in the last 20 years, to meet the growing demands of the economy and the tourism sector. In addition, there was also a record supply of 1.6 million cubic meters of new water to the agricultural community, and there were unprecedented low levels of chlorine in water, with a 30% reduction in 2023, they said.