Water Production & Distribution

The Water Operations Unit is responsible for all distribution and ground water operations in the Maltese islands. These responsibilities include the Regions and the Distribution Control Section.

Groundwater

In 2005-06 the WSC produced just under 31 million cubic metres (cu/mt) of potable water in Malta & Gozo. Approximately 13.4 million (43%) cu/mt. were produced from various groundwater sources, the main one being Ta’ Kandja Pumping Station which is a series of underground galleries some 8km in length, 100m below ground.

Ta' Kandja Galleries

Ta’ Kandja Underground Galleries are situated in the limits of  Siggiewi. This was the last pumping station built, and was completed in 1963. It consists of  a network of 6.2km of galleries out of a network of 42 km of such galleries which are beneath the Maltese island.

Reverse Osmosis

Groundwater production, however, is not enough to meet demand which means that the Corporation has to convert seawater into high-purity drinking water in its three RO plants at Pembroke, Cirkewwa and Ghar Lapsi and blend it with groundwater. Moreover, the underground water table, is affected by illegal extraction, causing its salinity to rise to unacceptable levels, which has forced the WSC to increase RO water production. This allows it to reduce groundwater production as a percentage of overall water production.

In 2006-07 just under 17 million cubic (57%) meters of water was produced by RO plants. cu/mt.

Storage & Control

This blend is stored in the 24 reservoirs in Malta, Gozo and Comino which have a total capacity of 400,000 cubic metres. All the production, transfer and storage of water is controlled and monitored in real time by remote sensing from the Control Room based at Luqa. Reservoir levels, flow rates and pressures are kept at optimal operating parameters at all times. 

Distribution

The water distribution system is a vast and complex network of over 2136 km of pipes, pumps, reservoirs, automated and manual valves and other components that bring safe, good-quality drinking water to your tap.

This network leads to approximately 142,000 water service connections to homes, businesses, industries, hotels, schools, etc., serving over 400,000 persons throughout the Maltese Islands.

Leakage Reduction

An extremely important part of our work is aimed at reducing system demand i.e. the amount of water entering the distribution system from our reservoirs and reverse osmosis plants. Over the past few years an aggressive leakage control programme using state-of-the-art equipment, refined work practices and policies. This has allowed the Corporation to reduce total water produced over previous years. Between 1998 and 2004 water consumption rose by eight per cent, but the WSC reduced the “total system demand” for potable water from just over 40 million cu/mt per annum, to around 31.4 million cu/mt in 2005 - a reduction of some 21.5 per cent.

The WSC is looked upon as a “Best Practice” example of leakage control by other water companies.