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News Malta warned of low groundwater levels

Malta continues to have “significant problems” with its groundwater levels, according to the EU’s environmental watchdog.

The European Environment Agency’s European Waters report for 2018 says that Malta is among the three southern member states, the others being Cyprus and Spain, where the groundwater levels are drying up fast.

The main pressures on the subterranean reservoirs, the agency said, was water extraction – the pumping out of water for public supply, agriculture and industry.

 Groundwater is found below the Earth’s surface in the fractures of rock formations and in soil pore spaces. In terms of what is known as the European water balance, groundwater aquifers only receive approximately one-tenth of the overall precipitation but provide around 42 per cent of the total water extraction in Europe, most of which is used for public water supplies and farming.

About half of drinking water in Europe is taken from groundwater, and many large cities depend on it for their supplies.

Despite this, the EEA report found that almost 90 per cent of groundwater bodies still enjoyed “good” status.

As for Malta, the analysis said the island had the highest number of groundwater reserves described as being in a “poor” state – 80 per cent. The report goes on to say that Malta, and to a lesser extent Cyprus, depended heavily on groundwater resources to meet their needs, with Malta extracting around 60 per cent from subterranean reserves.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information timesofmalta
Geographical coverage Malta
News date 16/07/2018
Working language(s) ENGLISH