The MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project today announced savings of 141,000,000 litres per annum amongst businesses and hotels collaborating with the project. The savings were announced at the project's closing event held at the Exchange Buildings in Valletta, attended by 60 representatives from industry and stakeholders, who were addressed by Minister Mizzi and Minister Brincat, and the presidents of the project partner organisations.
George Vella, President to lead partner the MBB, said “The project has highlighted a strong element of over-design in buildings, leading to an excessive consumption. The good news is that retro-fitting to reduce consumption has proved to be cost-effective, and lead to excellent water and financial savings.”
The project identified excessive flow rates in showers and wash-hand basins, excessive toilet flushing volumes, rainwater harvesting, grey and black-water treatment as the water saving measures with the most potential locally. The project carried out audits in 135 enterprises and the amount of water being saved is enough to meet all the needs of 2 medium sized four star hotels and 3 large water-consuming factories. Furthermore, some enterprises are still in the process of planning or implementing water saving measures, and the amount of water saved in the long term is therefore expected to increase further.
Commenting on the importance of rainwater harvesting for offices and factories, Malta Chamber vice-president Anton Borg said “The project has helped individual enterprises reduce their consumption by 30% through rainwater harvesting. More importantly, analysis of all the factories collaborating with the project showed that rainwater could meet the needs of around 50% of industry’s current consumption.”
Hon. Konrad Mizzi, Minister for Energy and the Conservation of Water, said “This project is a good example of demand management and stakeholders taking direct and independent action to contribute to reducing demand. Results showed that big savings are possible, even in the industry.”
Hon. Leo Brincat, Minster for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, said “With resource efficiency within the context of a knowledge based economy, will go to prove that the linkage between LIFE PROJECTS is not only of direct national benefit while leading to financial savings to industry, but it also leads to an innovative and creative way of mapping a new way ahead - one that creates new high quality jobs while ensuring our well-being. These are all concepts of a Green Economy that require us to reformulate fundamentally the way we produce, consume and live, so that our economic activities do not harm human health and the environment. It all boils down to living well within planetary limits while encouraging us all to do much more with less resources. Life Projects are a pivotal tool that will make it happen.”
President of the MHRA and Chief Financial Officer to the Corinthia Group, Paul Bugeja, drew attention to the energy savings on heating made possible by regulating flows on showers and wash-hand basins. He said “The Corinthia Group's hotels in Malta were not only able to save enough water to irrigate 15,000 trees, but also as much heating as would be generated by 636 photovoltaic panels. The financial benefits are considerable and we strongly encourage hotels that have yet to implement the water saving measures to consider this.”
The project published its Layman's Report at the event. The report summarises project actions, results, and how the partners intend to continue working on reducing industry's demand following the project conclusion. The report may be downloaded from www.investinginwater.org.
MBB CEO Joe Tanti concluded the event by thanking all collaborating enterprises, the project team led by Project Manager Geoffrey Saliba, the water engineers engaged to carry out technical work Ing. Marco Cremona, Ing. Christian Zammit and Perit Celine Schranz, and the project co-financiers and sponsors Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry for Energy and Conservation of Water, EasyDry Malta, APS Bank, Island Hotels Group and MSV LIFE who contributed 30% of the project's funding, in addition to the 50% covered by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community. The project partners MBB, Malta Chamber, and MHRA contributed the remaining funds needed to complete the project.