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Businesses, hotels save 141 million litres of water

Some 135 business and hotels saved 141 million litres of water through a sustainable resource management project headed by the Malta Business Bureau.

The project, EU Life+ Investing in Water, lasted 30 months and focused on simple solutions to industrial water management.

Coordinator Geoffrey Saliba said the water savings amounted to the entire annual consumption of three medium-sized hotels and two factories.

The project’s team carried out consumption audits on hotels and businesses which revealed they were wasting as much as 15 litres per toilet flush.

Mr Saliba said several hotel showers were also causing a severe strain on the island’s water resources. Some, he said, had a flow rate of as much as 30 litres per minute.

The team audited half of the island’s hotels and found that most exceeded the recommended consumption rate.

In many instances, the situation was reversed through the introduction of pressure controllers and aerators to showers and the promotion of in house water treatment facilities.

The project identified a potential national consumption reduction of 37 per cent if all hotels were to introduce the recommended measures.

This, Mr Saliba said, would translate in an annual saving of €1 million worth of water plus an added saving on electricity, as much as the saved water would have been heated in boilers.

On industrial savings, Mr Saliba stressed the importance of rainwater harvesting, which he said could amount to 60 per cent of water consumed in Malta’s offices.

Malta is the most water stressed country in Europe, extracting 50 per cent more ground water than the sustainable limits set by the EU water directive.

Mr Saliba said nearly four fifths of the remaining ground water contained an excessive amount of nitrates.

The situation was further compounded by the island’s dependence on Reverse Osmosis Plants. Mr Saliba said this made up four per cent of the island’s energy consumption.

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