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New measure to curb illegal boreholes

Owners of water bowsers have to be registered by the end of November or else face legal action, under a new initiative aimed at curtailing illegal extraction of ground water.

The scheme includes the registration of bowsers used for the transportation of wastewater, seawater, storm water run-off, trade effluent, ground water and drinking water.

Resources Minister George Pullicino said yesterday that owners have until the end of November to register.

Around 34 million cubic metres are extracted each year, 11 million cubic metres more than the resources authority's recommendations for sustainable extraction.

Last year the government published legal notices providing that no new boreholes can be drilled for groundwater extraction and all unregistered boreholes have to be registered. As a result, 2,643 boreholes were registered this year.

The next step was to attack water bowsers, some of which have been known to be working illegally.

Registrations for the bowsers are to be submitted by the owner or legal representative and should include all the particulars and specifications of the water tanker including the model of the vehicle, engine and chassis number, the capacity and classification of water transported.

Owners of trailer-tankers should submit technical details relevant to the trailer as required by the Transport Authority for issue of the road licence.

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