View on Kappara, Malta. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.
Malta is among the world’s most water-stressed countries It has a very large external demand for water. Groundwater reserves are being depleted and polluted (nitrate). In a recent report the Today Public Policy Institute (TPPI) pleads for an analytical policy framework to come to an integral national water plan.
The report - whose lead authors are retired World Bank expert Lee Roberts, hydrologist Marco Cremona and retired Royal Dutch Shell geologist Gordon J. Knox - is titled ‘Why Malta’s national water plan requires an analytical policy framework’. It explains why Malta needs to step up and start working on a coherent national water plan.
Malta is not only having problems with the water sources (including rainwater collection), it is also importing a lot of products whose production requires a significant water use globally. Due to the import Malta is extremely vulnerable to water crises in other parts of the world. The Maltese population is unaware of the water problem and needs to be educated.
The Malta Water Association (NGO) already advised the government a few years ago on how to develop a national water plan. Until now plans are made without independent, in-depth and integral policy framework. Without such a framework the government is risking to make decisions based on the interests of different stakeholders. An integral National Water Plan should include the interests of agricultural and domestic use of water.
Invest in pilot-projects
TTPI advises to the Maltese government to invest in pilot projects and to investigate new affordable water treatment technologies. TPPI: ‘Reverse Osmosis needs to be considerd a fall-back, rather than the leading edge of water management.’ Accoding to TPPI the Maltese government should follow the practice of other European countries in which object and comprehensive analysis is carried by independent Policy Institutes.