MBB encourages 2nd class water policy



The MBB this morning welcomed Minister Mizzi's statement in parliament, that the government will be announcing plans for the replenishment of groundwater bodies and a better use of 2nd class water.



The MBB this morning welcomed Minister Mizzi's statement in parliament, that the government will be announcing plans for the replenishment of groundwater bodies and a better use of 2nd class water.

 

Water audits carried out over the past few weeks by the MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project show that the use of 2nd class water can significantly reduce overall water consumption.

 

The latest such water audit was at the Paradise Bay Hotel, where a grey-water unit reduces the hotels consumption by an estimated 35%. Grey water units recycle waste water from showers and wash hand basins into 2nd class water, used in the flushing of toilets. The unit has helped the 4* Paradise Bay Hotel use less 1st class water per guest night than the average 3* hotel in Malta.

 

“Several hotels and factories have already taken the initiative to collect rainwater or internally recycle and use treated waste-water as 2nd class water. More enterprises would adopt such systems if a national policy facilitating the implementation of in-house recycling units and rainwater harvesting was adopted. This could result in many thousands of tons of potable water being saved every year by Malta’s businesses and hotels.” stated Geoffrey Saliba, MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project Manager.

 

Such a policy would contribute directly to easing pressure on Malta's groundwater bodies. WSC supplied tapwater is a 45% groundwater and 55% reverse-osmosis water mix, with groundwater being additionally relied upon predominantly by the agricultural sector.

 

The latest NSO publication shows that in 2012 at least 59% more groundwater was extracted than is sustainable. The publication also shows that extraction has increased by 3.4% every year since 2004.The result of over-extraction is increased salinity and hence deteriorating quality of remaining groundwater reserves.

 

Ing. Marco Cremona, water expert engaged by the MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project, stated “The gradual substitution of 1st class water with 2nd class water where appropriate will result in a reduction of 1st class water demand. This will reduce stress on the aquifers and dependence on Reverse Osmosis production, lead to less flooding and a reduced load on the municipal sewage treatment plants.”

 

The MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project is carrying out a programme of water audits until November 2013. Information gained through the water audits is the most detailed picture of water consumption by industry available nationally. Following the conclusion of this programme a report will be presented to government and national authorities detailing how policy can facilitate increased water conservation in Malta.


 

The services are all offered free of charge due to 50% co-financing under the European Community’s LIFE funding programme, with the Ministry responsible for Energy and Conservation of Water as the main co-financier, further co-financing and sponsorship from Easydry Malta, APS Bank, Island Hotels Group, and MSV LIFE.




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