Water use in Malta sees hefty 34.2% increase over eight years

Upward trend in water exploitation index indicates a ‘stressed to severely stress country in terms of water resources’

An upward trend in the Water Exploitation Index (WEI) was observed between 2005 and 2014, from 34.7 to 46.5 per cent. This indicates a stressed to severely stressed country in terms of water resources, the National Statistics Office said.

This year World Water Day focuses on the key role that water resources play in the quality of life of present and future generations.

The availability of good quality water resources is a necessary pre-requisite for poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability.

The NSO said that Malta’s freshwater resources were totally dependent on precipitation, as no inflow or outflow of water resources from or to other countries take place.

Since 2005, the WEI has shown an average annual increase of 4.0 per cent. This has occured since groundwater abstraction went up by an average of 4.3 per cent per year, while freshwater resources, as calculated by the Long-Term Annual Average (LTAA), have edged up annually by an average of 0.3 per cent.

Since 2005, the total yearly water production decreased by an average of 0.2 per cent per year, while on the other hand the consumption of public water has increased by an average of 1.3 per cent per year. This increase has been met with the same levels of production due to a reduction in the infrastructural leakages in the water distribution network, amounting to 3.54 million cubic metres or 49.8 per cent.

The agriculture sector is the main user of all the water resources in Malta. From 2005 to 2013 the agricultural sector used 46.7 per cent of all the water which was made available for use, followed by households with a share of 36.2 per cent.

Over the past nine years, water use has increased by 34.2 per cent from 45.2 million cubic metres in 2005 to 60.7 million cubic metres in 2013.

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