Date: 22nd June 2012
Venue: The Grand Ballroom, Radisson Hotel, St Julians
Time: 09:00 – 14:30
The EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project aims to help businesses and hotels sustainably reduce their water consumption, by identifying water saving opportunities in industry and developing solutions to realise these savings.
The National Water Conference shared current water saving best practice solutions from businesses and hotels and discussed project findings to date. Speakers at the conference stressed the scarcity of water in Malta, and expected impacts of climate change on freshwater availability locally. National and EU water protection legislation was highlighted, while examples of international best practice were presented by representatives of international water conservation projects. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about water saving services and products available on the local market, by visiting providers stands set up at the conference.
The National Water Conference proved to be a useful guidance to those enterprises seeking to reduce their water consumption, concerned about water scarcity in Malta, or interested in knowing how national and EU water management and protection legislation could affect industry.
Session 1 - Introducing the project and the conference
Opening the conference was Mr George Vella, President of the Malta Business Bureau opened the conference, and Dr Marie Louise Mangion, Head of the Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Environment, delivered the opening speech. The MBB's EU Life+ Investing in Water project manager, Mr Geoffrey Saliba presented an analysis of water consumption data by various local industries. This session was chaired by Mr Joe Tanti, the Cheif Executive Officer of the Malta Business Bureau.
Session 2 - Water Scarcity and Consumption Malta
Manuel Sapiano, Hydrologist from the Malta Resources Authority, outlined the severity of the water scarcity situation in Malta. Water Expert for the EU Life+ Investing in Water project, Ing Marco Cremona, presented a detailed analysis of water consumption by various industries locally. Mr Tancred Tabone, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry then concluded the session, before opening the to discussion. This session was chaired by Mr Andrew Aguis Muscat, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.
Session 3 - Tackling Water Scarcity
Mr Sapiano again opened the proceedings by giving a brief over-view of the national water policy and legislation. Head of the Water Protection Unit at Directorate-General Environment at the European Commission, Mr Peter Gammeltoft followed up on Mr Sapiano's presentation by explaining EU Water Policy and Legislation. Mr Martin Bugelli, Head of the European Commission representation in Malta chaired this session.
Session 4 - Case Studies: Best practice in water management
Ing Joseph Restall presented the activities taken up by the Hilton Malta Hotel to reduce their water consumption, also leading to utility bill reduction. Ing Restall was followed by Mr Victor Buhagiar who explained the initiatives taken up by the APS Bank to improve water usage efficiency. The conference also brought similar projects to the floor, with Dr Fabio Masi, disseminating the conclusions from the Italian LIFE WATACLIC Project. Ms. Konstantina Toli followed by presenting conclusions from the Greek GWP-MED, Alter Aqua Programme. Mr Tony Zahra, MHRA President, made an animated speech at the end of the session which was chaired by Perit Philip Grech.
Session 5 - Discussion: Realising Water Savings in the Industry.
After a light lunch, attendees and speakers participated in a debate discussing the challenges the industry faces in adopting water conservation measures. Many valid interventions were made, as well as the highlighting of possible solutions. The session was chaired by Dr Andrew Azzoppardi from the University of Malta, assisted by Ing Anthony Rizzo, Cheif Executive Officer of the Malta Resources Authority, who also closed the debate.
For key excerpts from the conference, visit this page