Maltese island achieves water autonomy with SWRO innovation
An award-winning water development has enabled the Mediterranean island of Gozo to create an independent water supply.
As part of a €100 million program funded by the European Union to improve water quality across Malta, the Gozo project involves a self-contained flexible source of high-quality drinking water.
One of 21 islands that make up the Maltese archipelago, Gozo had historically depended on groundwater and a submarine pipeline sending water from Malta.
Urgently needing to create additional water supplies to handle peak seasonal demand from tourism, the government of Malta commissioned the €10 million Hondoq plant, which uses seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) to produce 9,000 m3/day and fulfil the demand of over three million cubic meters per year.
The development is part of Maltese Water Services Corporation’s (WSC) drive to become a ‘Net Zero Impact Utility’. Both AST and ROTEC by WFI Group combined to deliver the plant with best available technologies, in collaboration with the Israeli National Water Company, Mekorot.
Unique to the project, the teams had to construct the new modern facility while working on the existing building, according to local preservation and restoration guidelines. The renovation was undertaken with a local architect and sub-contractor.
To accommodate Gozo island’s water needs, WSC has set out goals for its water supply:
- To achieve drinking water autonomy with high efficiency and redundancy
- To enhance the quality of the drinking water
- To serve both the Gozo and Malta islands with a fresh and steady water supply
WSC said the “historic” project is “one of the most efficient in the world” and the first “reverse osmosis project in Gozo that will give autonomy” to the island’s water production.