Facilitating local councils to have water conservation kits

Average use of water is lower than that of the EU, but Malta can be more efficient

The role of local councils in Malta ties in with Government policy on efficient water use, the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Dr. Miriam Dalli said, in Zurrieq a couple of days ago when she visited  the Żurrieq Local Council who were hosting a Energy and Water Agency’s (EWA) ‘“Water – Be the Change” Campaign mobile unit.

This National Water Conservation campaign, which started in September 2019 and  is run by EWA, will run for three years and aims to deliver awareness on efficient use of water resources and to facilitate a cultural shift in people’s behaviour towards water conservation. The €14 million campaign aims to address people’s consciousness on water resources in a sustainable manner. In addition to delivering educational messages, the agency is distributing tools which can be attached to water appliances in the home to reduce water consumption.

With a broad estimate of how much water a person uses on a daily basis, EWA have calculated that around 110 litres are used per person per day. When comparing that figure to countries in the EU, some have averages of around 200 litres per person per day, meaning that people Malta are efficient with water use, but it does not mean that it just stops there.  The real challenge of water in Malta is the growing demand for it. A demand which grows as the population increases, leading to increased water use in homes, work places and agricultural sectors.

Although most modern appliances have water saving technologies, it still all comes down to the individual to make the ultimate change. For example, spending just five minutes in the shower is the efficient benchmark for how long a shower should take.  

Through the  discussions with local councils, their role  in this campaign will be increased, Minister Dalli said. The aim is for the councils to provide distribution assistance, allowing residents to collect their kit, even when the mobile unit moves on to another locality. “Together with the EWA, we are looking at how to control water waste. This ties in with our policy of efficient water use. The Agency has already visited a number of localities and will continue with this work in the coming days and months.” EWA is distributing tools which can be attached to water appliances in the home to reduce water consumption.

She added that “We are working to facilitate access for people, especially those who would not be able to collect the water kit from the agency’s distribution unit when it is in their locality. For this reason, we are currently in discussion with the Association of Local Councils.”

Żurrieq Mayor Rita Grima spoke of the collaboration between the local council and the agency to ensure that residents receive the kit, especially to those who are housebound due to the age or because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The importance of this educational campaign was emphasised by the EWA’ s Head of the Water Unit, Dr. Michael Schembri. Through various activities to reach citizens, EWA continues to work hard to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and appreciation for this important, but somewhat scarce, natural resource.