400-year-old San Anton Palace reservoir to be restored

Memorandum of Understanding for the restoration of a rainwater reservoir at San Anton Palace signed on World Water Day

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Jurgen Balzan
23 March 2017, 10:16am
The Memorandum of Understanding for the reinstatement of the rainwater harvesting reservoir was signed at San Anton Palace
The Memorandum of Understanding for the reinstatement of the rainwater harvesting reservoir was signed at San Anton Palace
Representatives of The Office of the President of Malta, the Energy and Water Agency of Malta and the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) yesterday marked World Water Day by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the reinstatement of a rainwater harvesting reservoir at San Anton Palace.

The ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace in Attard adjacent to the San Anton Gardens where the water reservoir is located, in the presence of the Alter Aqua partners, including General Soft Drinks Marketing Ltd representing the System of Coca-Cola in Malta, as the programme has been financially supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation, since 2011.

The San Anton Garden reservoir was built by the Knights of Malta in 1600AD and has a capacity of 1,800,000 liters
The San Anton Garden reservoir was built by the Knights of Malta in 1600AD and has a capacity of 1,800,000 liters
The San Anton Garden reservoir was built by the Knights of Malta in 1600AD and has a capacity of 1,800,000 liters. Its reinstatement, under the technical supervision of the Energy and Water Agency and GWP-Med, presents historic, cultural, social and water management significance.

Harvesting rainwater today through a system built over 400 years ago highlights the intrinsic value of water solutions for sustaining life on the island. This water will be used to irrigate the orange grove of the Palace and its Gardens.

The reservoir will have a social impact as the produce of the orange grove is merchandised to support the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, a charitable foundation, which helps the Maltese in need of medical assistance, provides food to the poor and scholarships for students. Works would be completed by the end of the summer 2017.

Presiding over the ceremony, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that the idea to bring the reservoir to life, is part of a whole restoration project which the Presidency has undertaken at San Anton Palace.

“We are also committed, as a country, together with all the countries of the United Nations, to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals,” Coleiro Preca said.

The President added that “this project is a statement, that we are doing our part in this sense, together with other initiatives all over the globe for water sustainability and to meet the aspirations of Goal 6”. Her Excellency thanked all the stakeholders involved in this project for being a part of this project – “a project which will become a reality thanks to our combined efforts”.

GSD Marketing Chief Operating Officer Maria Micallef said ‘’through Alter Aqua we have succeed to positively impact the lives of 53,000 people in the Maltese Islands by collecting and reusing more than 16 million litres of water on an annual basis. Going beyond the infrastructure works the Alter Aqua project has a special focus on schools and the organization of educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness on the application of Non-Conventional Water Resources and sustainable water use. In this regard, through the Alter Aqua project, more than 13,000 students have been educated on sustainable development in schools, while 1228 teachers have been trained since 2011.”

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Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...