The main idea behind this project is to generate public awareness, education and appreciation of Malta’s scarce natural inland water resource. An information resource centre, which will be constructed as part of the project, will be a first for Malta and will serve as a platform to raise local awareness on the challenges facing the water sector in Malta and the need for its conservation and management. This hopes to instil a culture change towards water conservation at a national level. The harvesting of runoff rainwater will be one of the key elements of this project and water reservoirs will be constructed for this purpose. Other elements within and around the centre include a water conservation and geological walk-through with information points, the installation of hydrological monitoring equipment and photovoltaic panels, the construction of wetland to treat greywater, installation of digital e-content in the Centre’s digital walkthrough for use by the general public and school students, other on-demand information content, as well as the setting up of an audio visual space for the projection of audiovisual productions on water resources management.
Summary of project results
The dire situation of rainfall in Malta, coupled with the available water resourses, emphasise even stronger the expected outcome of this pre-defined project i.e. to increase awareness of and education in integrated marine and inland water management and how important and crucial it is for the islands. The Centre and its exhibitions and educational material is contributing extensively towards this outcome, being the first and only centre of its type in Malta. It is the first Centre of its type in Malta, serving as a platform to raise local awareness on the challenges facing the water sector and its scarcity in Malta and hence the need for conservation and management of this scarce natural resource amongst the general public. The important message to conserve and use wisely such an invaluable resource for the islands need to be transmitted first and foremost to our children, tomorrow’s citizens. In view of this, ever since its opening, the main thrust of the Centre was to be in synergy with the curriculum offered in Maltese schools, and in coordination with Nature Trust – FEE Malta and EkoSkola gave utmost importance to education for sustainable development (ESD), being an essential component in a strategy for a mentality change towards sustainable lifestyles and choices. The Malta Water Conservation Awareness Centre project and its budget was approved, in replacement of another project withdrawn by WasteServ in 2014, reflecting the move from PA06 to PA01, and hence new outcomes and outputs accordingly. During the initial implementation of the project and preliminary excavation works at the site of the new Centre, archaeological remains were found. Following the recommendations of the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, the project was redesigned in order to incorporate these archaeological findings within the scope of the project. Other achieved outputs include an Introductory Video on Malta’s water resource and water uses; a Water Conservation (outdoor) Trail; and a Science Trail giving hands-on experience to visitors on the use of hydrological monitoring equipment. As at 23rd April 2017, just two days after the official opening, it was recorded that 5038 visitors had already visited the Centre, an encouraging number towards reaching the expected outcome of this project.
Summary of bilateral results