PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR ENERGY AND WATER MANAGEMENT: The Maltese government strongly in favour of cooperation in the field of water management

Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that the Maltese Government is strongly in favour of cooperation and the sharing of knowledge and experiences in the field of water management.

He stated this during the 8th World Water Forum held in Brasilia, Brazil. This is the world’s biggest water-related event, organised by the World Water Council (WWC), and is aimed at promoting awareness, building political commitment and triggering action on critical water issues at all levels. The forum is held every three years.

During the several interventions made over the day-long event, Minister Mizzi explained the conditions and challenges faced in water management in the Maltese islands owing to its semi-arid climate and water demand. These challenges were further exacerbated by the physical insularity of the Maltese islands. This has in turn resulted in the need to develop unconventional water resources to address the water demand of the population and the economic sectors.

Water management in Malta starts from the perspective of water unavailability, and consequently aims at the development of resilient strategies based on the conjunctive use of water demand management and water supply augmentation measures. Malta’s water management framework, as presented in the islands’ 2nd River Basin Management Plan, also gives due consideration to future challenges related to our changing climate, Minister Mizzi added.

Minister Mizzi explained that the Maltese government aimed at improving water use at all levels and in all sectors�not only from the supply side, but also from the user’s end through awareness and support programmes. Minister Mizzi emphasised the importance of the link between energy and water, through the use of energy-efficient technology and optimisation of energy use.

One of the objectives of this planning framework is the development of Malta’s water utility into one which has a net zero impact on the water environment by contributing back an equivalent volume to its use of natural water resources. Furthermore, investments in energy efficiency seek to ensure that increases in water demand are met without increases in the energy footprint of the utility. This is a major contribution to ensuring high resilience levels in the national water cycle.

Minister Mizzi said that he looked forward to the proceedings of the World Water Forum. He added that water could not be treated in isolation, and discussions should take into consideration horizontal issues such as training, improved governance, and research and development. The minister reiterated the commitment of the Maltese government to contribute to the development of actions under such horizontal themes, to provide the experience for effectively addressing water scarcity, and ensuring security of supply whilst ensuring the protection of the water environment.

Source: Government of Malta