The Maltese islands, like other parts of the Mediterranean area is an area of acute water shortage. Leakage control has been developed to become a strategically important component for water resource management, and has been used to reach an optimum economic balance between water supply and water demand. An understanding of the economics of leakage control, the target setting of leakage goals, and the strategic management of leak control resources is vital.
The study describes the major advances made in the fields of technology, training, HR skills and management techniques that collectively enabled the Water Supply Corporation to more than half its leakage within 5 years
The reduction in National leakage from 2,800 cubic metres per hour to 1,200 cubic metres per hour over 5 years, as well as the achieving of an internationally recognized leakage target for Gozo, is the focus of this case study. This has been achieved despite the technical difficulties of a dense and complex water network.
- Despite severe technical difficulties, leakage reduction has played a significant role in reducing dependence on (high cost) water supply from desalination.
- To be effective, leakage control should be seen as a major component of corporate strategy for water resource management, involving sophisticated management techniques as well as technical innovation.
Importance of the case for IWRM
Malta faced shortages of water, and limited groundwater (due to illegal abstraction in the agricultural sector). Leakage management is an effective supply side action to increase efficiency in water use leading, and can be used as a strategic tool.
Photo credit: Jack Vicary