Malta is surrounded by water, but can’t get enough of it

How can an island in the middle of the ocean get enough fresh water? By taking good care of the scarce amount of water that nature provides.

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Malta is facing serious challenges with its water resources. The island's natural fresh water supply is the groundwater, replenished by rainfall. In dry periods as much as 70 % of the island experience water stress, according to Eurostat.

 

Risk of water crisis

For the Maltese people it’s extremely important to take care of the water resources that exist, and reuse when possible, a message that is now being taught to young people at the new ‘Malta Water Conservation Awareness Centre’.

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Interactive learning for children at the new awareness centre. Photo credit: Daniel Balzn

 

Due to the constant threat of resource depletion, Malta is extremely vulnerable to water crises. This is why the establishment of the ‘Malta Water Conservation Awareness Centre’ has been so crucial for shedding light on the issue.

Through this project, supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the aim has been to establish an information centre that focus on water conservation and management, as well as geology, meteorology and archaeology.

See the video on YouTube.

 

Playground and weather station

The centre has become an educational hub, equipped with a number of facilities that offer state of the art information tools. It has an interactive education arena, a playground, a weather station and a large open-air arena for art exhibitions, lectures and other large gatherings.

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“The centre’s aim is to compliment educational activities related to water conservation management and build on what is already being taught in schools. It offers a wide range of games and activities, suitable for different age groups, that provide participants with extensive information about the challenges facing Malta’s water sector,” says Manuel Sapiano, Chief Technical Officer (Water) in the Sustainable Energy and Water Conservation Unit (SEWCU) within Malta’s Ministry for Energy and Health.

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Young people at Malta gets valuable information about the island's water supply at the new centre. Photo credit: Daniel Balzn

 

Discovered history

Additionally, the centre is also an arena for teaching children about Maltese history and culture. During the development of the project, a major archaeological discovery was made in the area of where the centre was being constructed. Remnants of an old road used during the Roman Empire was found and has become part of the centre’s exhibition.  

“The games have been tailored to the functions of the centre. It is a mix of digital e-learning and interactive activities in the centre’s many large open spaces. We see that this type of interactive education has a significant effect on children’s ability to acquire knowledge,” says Manuel.

 

Family centre

The centre is not only available to school children, but open to families on the weekends as well. Since its opening it has had over 5000 visitors. “The exceptional education tools offered by the centre could not have been developed without the funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. These tools have been absolutely necessary in raising the public’s awareness of Malta’s challenges with water conservation and management,” says Manuel.

Harvesting of runoff rainwater is one of the goals with this important project.

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