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CF 355: Water Quality and Supply Improvement

Project Cost: €14,122,816
Beneficiary: Water Services Corporation
Line Ministry: Ministry for Energy and Health (MEH)
Start Date: 2014
End Date: 2015

Non Technical Short Summary Of Project

Reconfiguration of the groundwater collection and blending system in the south of Malta to better manage the supply of good quality water to the centre south area of Malta with particular reference to nitrate levels control, replacement of reverse osmosis membranes, ensure safety of water quality by the installing laboratory equipment, and installing ultrafiltration systems to reclaim groundwater.

Operational Programme: OPI Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life ERDF
Fund: Cohesion Fund
Operational Objective: To minimise landfilling of waste and to rehabilitate disused landfills, as well as, increase the capacity for waste treatment for energy recovery and recycling purposes.
Focus Area Of Intervention: OPIPA5 Solid Waste

Project Objectives

Over the years, the water supply system of the Maltese Islands has developed to meet the expanding needs of the population. Since it was set up 20 years ago, the Water Services Corporation has continued with this development so as to optimise water quality, rationalise operations and control leakages.The sources of supply of potable water of the Maltese Islands are the mean sea level aquifers and desalination plants which in turn supply 43% and 57% of the potable water requirements respectively. These sources are made up of: 85 Boreholes and 9 Pumping Stations through which water is extracted from the aquifers; and 3 Desalination Plants working on the reverse osmosis process. Water from these sources is generally pumped to 24 reservoirs where the water is blended and distributed to customers through gravity systems or pump systems for the higher level areas. This configuration, together with an undulating topography characterising the Maltese islands, leaves the water supply system highly dependent on a series of pumping operations which vary from simply extracting water from groundwater sources to pumping water through the various stages of the reverse osmosis process. This situation makes the Water Services Corporation one of the major power consumers in Malta.In order to supply its customers with good quality potable water at the least possible cost and in an environmentally sustainable manner, the WSC has to ensure that the ratio of water produced from its sources forms the cheapest possible blend. This obviously has to be carried out without jeopardising the quality of the blended water in the reservoirs and also maintaining a sufficient level of reserves throughout the island. Also, within the scope of attaining this, water needs to be transferred from one reservoir or source to another, so as to guarantee that the final blend has the right quality parameters to meet all potable water standards. The Corporation is thus continually striving to optimise its operations to maintain a balance between water quality and power consumption while at the same time satisfying demand requirements.The Corporation is also committed to continue improvements through the maintenance of a certified ISO 9001 quality management system and the implementation of an ISO 14001 environmental management system. The Corporation adopts the DWD in order to monitor and control its water. It houses ISO17025 accredited tests within WSC’s laboratory which not only serves as its internal quality control but also acts as a regulator to all its operations related to water quality including operational investigations and projects pertaining to improvement in quality of water. The WSC is also committed to introducing a Water Safety Plan in line with WHO guidelines. Through this project the WSC is seeking means to improve its operations in different sectors of its potable water supply. The measures making up this project are interlinked and complementary to each other such that they ultimately contribute towards the improvement of operational efficiency and providing a better service to the customer.This project falls under Priority Axis 5 of Operational Programme I which outlines the objectives for Cohesion Policy. This Priority Axis identifies the following goals which are relevant to the project:• To reduce airborne emissions from electricity generation• To promote the use of RES and energy efficiency and reduction in the use of non-renewable energy sources.

Project Results

1. Better quality water in parts of the network which will directly affect over 50,000 consumers (refer to Section 5.10, Target Groups) by ensuring that the level of boron of water produced at RO plants and distributed directly to consumers is kept within the 1mg/l stipulated in the DWD;2. Better management of the water supply system;3. Extension of the analytical capabilities of the WSC Laboratory;4. An overall reduction of 1.13 million kWh per annum in energy consumption (breakdown of this figure at Section 6.1);5. Recovery of water produced from three groundwater pumping stations to have the water fit for use for potable purposes throughout the year which would otherwise be left to drain.