Climate change is the change in global weather and rainfall patterns. Although a natural process, greenhouse gasses emitted by human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and de-forestation, are accelerating it beyond its natural rate.
In fact, the average global temperature in 2005 was 0.76°C higher than that during pre-industrial times. Other changes include unprecedented polar ice-cap melting.
Of particular concern to Malta is the expected decrease in annual rainfall in the Mediterranean due to climate change. Rain falling on Malta gets absorbed into the ground and slowly, over a period of decades, makes its way into the aquifers, thus replenishing groundwater bodies. Less annual rainfall will result in less water recharging Malta’s aquifers. Furthermore, the rain which does fall will do so over shorter, more intense periods of time. To avoid flooding much of this water will need to be diverted into the sea. This will continue to reduce the amount of rainwater available to recharge the aquifers.
All the above point to a likely decrease in the amount of groundwater sustainably available in the near future, highlighting the need to ensure that waste during consumption is reduced.