Farmers to be given free audit and €5,000 for water-saving installations

Water consumption campaign earmarks €750,000 for conservation of water in agriculture

Malta’s farmers are being offered up to €5,000 in a government grant for installations and works at making their water consumption more efficient.

Manuel Sapiano, CEO for the Energy and Water Agency, said the new scheme ‘Water, Be The Change’, will offer support to up to 150 farmers to utilize their water resources in a more efficient and sustainable way, ensuring better use of water consumption and collection, as well as reducing the cost of production of water for this vital sector.

A total investment of €750,000 is being apportioned for the incentive.

Eligible applicants will get a free assessment of their premises, existing water consumption, and how water is collected, and will learn about ways to make their water consumption more efficient.

Officers from the campaign will visit the agricultural holding to evaluate the water consumption on site and discuss what measures can be undertaken in order to improve water efficiency. Among them, simple measures such as improving existing irrigation system and installing soil moisture sensors or more intensive measures such as the rehabilitation works on a rainwater harvesting reservoir.

Following the audit, each case will be discussed under the guidance of a professional engineer and should the recommendations be feasible, and agreed upon by the applicant, works will be commissioned, implemented and monitored, free of charge. These successful applicants will become Malta’s ‘Water Champions’, providing a tangible example to all on how water conservation schemes can be implemented in practice in an efficient manner.

Energy minister Joe Mizzi said the agriculture sector is often the main consumer of all water resources in Malta.

“Which makes sense, given that this is also the sector responsible for producing our food. These interventions will ensure better use of water consumption and collection as well as reduce the cost of water; a big expense for this vital sector.

“It is absolutely essential that Government continues to work hand in hand with this sector to ensure that farmers have proper and efficient access to water sources.”

Agriculture parliamentary secretary Clint Camilleri also stressed the importance of water conservation and wastage within the sector while appealing to farmers and producers to take part in this scheme. “We always did our best to be close to our farmers and give them support whenever they faced difficult situations such as when they were hit with structural damages due to bad weather.”

Applicants can visit www.water.org.mt or www.ilma.org.mt or visit the National Water Conservation Centre, GĦAJN in Rabat.

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