Malta’s reliance on desalination means that water bills are high so stopping leaks had to be achieved. An Automated Meter Management was the answer.
Since water is a precious resource, its production and distribution must be carried out in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner. This is even more so in the case of Malta where 60% of the nation’s potable water is produced by burning fossil fuels that generate electricity to run our three reverse osmosis plants. The remaining 40% comes from an underground aquifer that is already suffering from over-abstraction.
So it is understandable that potable water in Malta, a country situated in an arid region, is far more costly to produce than in countries with wetter climates. This stark reality is reflected in consumers' bills. Water is therefore a social issue which can create political repercussions at times.
Due to this ‘water-stressed’ situation, every water connection in Malta has been individually metered for billing purposes since the 1950s, thereby embracing very early on the principles of ‘pay per use’ and ‘full cost recovery’ that were more recently implemented elsewhere in Europe. It is thus no surprise that the Water Services Corporation in Malta is also the first water company in the world to implement a nationwide Automated Meter Management (AMM) system. This system carries high capital and recurrent costs, which are included within water tariffs, in line with the aforementioned full cost recovery principles.
[Photo by Bill Richards | Flickr]