Reverse Osmosis produces 56% of Malta's freshwater needs

During 2010, 56 per cent of the fresh water production in Malta has been delivered through Reverse Osmosis plants. Such production absorbed nearly 4 per cent of the Islands’ total electrical generation.

This year’s World Water Day theme, 'Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge' is aimed at encouraging governments, organisations, communities and individuals to become involved in tackling the challenges of urban water management. In Malta, water is produced by the Water Services Corporation (WSC) through pumping stations and boreholes which extract groundwater, and reverse osmosis plants which desalinate seawater. "It is evident that the water produced from both sources increases in the summer months, mainly in response to the influx of tourists during that period. The biggest increases in the reverse osmosis production figures were recorded in July and August, when these plants produced 24.7 per cent more water when compared to the monthly average," the National Statistics Office said. Production from groundwater sources only exceeded that from reverse osmosis plants in 2000. Thereafter the share of production from groundwater sources has seen an intermittent decline which averaged 1.7 per cent per year over the time series. The total production of public water has likewise seen an intermittent decline which averaged 1.9 per cent per year over the same period. This drop is mainly attributed to a fall in the system demand which occurred as a result of leakage reduction from underground water mains. Reverse Osmosis plants are major consumers of electricity in Malta. The share of electricity consumed by these plants in relation to the national supply has decreased from 6.2 per cent in 2000 to 3.8 per cent in 2010. During the period under review, the water produced by Reverse Osmosis plants has seen an average decline of 0.2 per cent per year. In contrast on average the electricity consumption of these plants went down by 3.7 per cent per year over a decade.