Over 400 years ago, the Knights of Malta recognized the need for efficient water management and they planned by building reservoirs - capable of storing as much as 1,8 million liters of water – like in the case of the San Anton Palace, which now serves as the President’s Palace in Malta. Nowadays, while water demand is increasing and technology evolves the need for integrated water resources management is more relevant than ever.
The Non Conventional Water Resources Programme implemented by GWP-Med (known as Alter Aqua in Malta), within its 6 year-long activity in the Maltese islands, undertook the task to reinstate the historic reservoir and make it useful again for watering the orange grove of the Palace and its Gardens. This work was completed in 2017 and was officially inaugurated last month, in May 9th, 2018. The ceremony was hosted by Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, and in the presence of the Minister for Energy and Water Management Hon. Joe Mizzi.
"We are committed to the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 6 which addresses water sustainability” said President Coleiro Preca and thanked all stakeholders involved in this programme and its numerous activities. Minister for Energy and Water Resources Hon. Joe Mizzi praised the Alter Aqua programme and its impact in Malta by supplying non-conventional water resources, which can be used for secondary uses subsisting natural water resources.
Representatives from GWP-Med, the Coca-Cola Company, GSD Marketing Ltd and the Coca-Cola Foundation were also there and addressed the distinguished guests and highlighted the importance of utilising existing infrastructure to improve water availability.
''Through Alter Aqua we have positively impacted the lives of 65,000 people in the Maltese Islands by collecting and reusing more than 17 million litres of water on an annual basis. We believe in leading by example and through the Alter Aqua programme we applied best practices, but we also recognise that these impressive results are because of the power of collective action and collaboration of the programme's partners.'' stated Maria Micallef, Chief Executive Officer, GSD Marketing. Ltd
The historic reservoir, serves a purpose by supplying water to the orange grove in the San Anton Gardens, and a noble cause as the oranges produced are merchandised to support a charitable foundation. The Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation supports Maltese in need of medical assistance, provides food to the poor and scholarships for students. Visitors of the San Anton Palace will be inspired by the social impact possibilities that are provided and will be reminded that water is a finite resource and therefore we must use it wisely.