Water is a limited resource in the European Union (EU), with one-third of the EU territory experiencing water stress. Read how Malta, a semi-arid country located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, is developing a New Water solution to ensure water security.
Over the past 30 years, the frequency and intensity of droughts and their environmental and economic damages in the EU have drastically increased. Between 1976 and 2006 the numbers of areas and people affected by droughts increased by 20% and the total costs of droughts amounted to EUR 100 billion. In 2017, summer droughts resulted in the Italian farming sector alone losing EUR 2 billion. This trend is expected to continue into the future with no part of Europe immune. In fact, by 2030, water stress and scarcity will likely affect half of Europe’s river basins.
Malta has historically been challenged in meeting demand for municipal water supply as well as the needs of the agricultural and commercial sectors. To meet demand, Malta has over the past two decades developed sea-water desalination technology which today accounts for around 60% of the municipal water supply.
To further water security, Malta’s Water Services Commission has established the New Water program.
[Photo by Felix Lange | Flickr]