AD calls for national water strategy
Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Harry Vassallo has called for the drawing up of a comprehensive national water strategy.
Speaking in Nadur, Dr Vassallo said: "We commit here and now to support any government and any government agency effectively enforcing existing laws to safeguard natural water resources and promoting public and private initiatives to make optimal use of this scarce resource." Dr Vassallo said great improvements had been made in the quality of the drinking water supply in recent years as well as in reducing leaks from the distribution system. But he said that the water supply in Malta was and would remain a critical issue.
"Much remains to be done in order to safeguard existing resources and to avoid wastage." He said that for decades the illegal extraction and distribution of water from unauthorised boreholes has been tolerated "to an absurd extent" and effective management of ground water by the Water Services Corporation had remained virtually impossible. "It is not enough that this fact is documented each year in the Annual Report of the Water Services Corporation.
"Effective enforcement measures are necessary today and will become ever more critical in the future as the rising cost of water will make illegal extraction even more lucrative," he said.
He said the farming community also should be made aware of the dangers of unauthorised extraction, such as increased ground water salinity.
"Farmers should also be given more support when they get together to safeguard resources threatened by development such as the perched aquifer in Nadur, Gozo, over which a very large cemetery of 600 graves and another church are being proposed to be built in an outside development zone. Sources of contamination of perched aquifers should be identified and remedied. Better still, all possible contamination threats should be avoided," Dr Vassallo said.