In 2022, the Water Services Corporation (WSC) produced 35.5 million cubic meters of potable water to meet the water demand. The corporation achieved this by utilizing both Reverse Osmosis plants and ground water production sites. Ground water accounted for approximately 36% or 12.7 million cubic meters of the total potable water production.
Ta’ Kandja Galleries
Just over 13 million cubic metres per year are produced from underground sources, the main source being the underground galleries at Ta’ Kandja. These galleries are 97 metres below ground and radiate like the spokes of a wheel for thousands of metres. There are also 12 other pumping stations and 134 boreholes from where water is extracted.
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.
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 four RO plants at Pembroke, Cirkewwa, Ghar Lapsi and Hondoq (Gozo) and blend it with groundwater. The long term deterioration in the quality of groundwater required the introduction of desalinated water to achieve the required quality (potability) 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.
The total amount of water produced from Reverse Osmosis plants in 2022 was 22,785,700 cubic meters, accounting for 64% of the total blend or an average of 62,425 cubic meters per day.
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.
The water distribution system is a vast and complex network of over 2200 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 160,000 water service connections to homes, businesses, industries, hotels, schools, etc., serving over 520,000 persons throughout the Maltese Islands through 300,000 service connections.
The quality and safety of the water we produce are constantly checked by the laboratory, which is ISO 17025:2017 accredited by the National Accreditation Body.
Every month samples are collected from various village point, to ensure that all water supplied to various households are up to the legal obligations.
An extremely important part of our work is aimed at reducing system demand i.e. the amount of water produced and sent to the distribution system from our pumping stations 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 has been implemented. This has allowed the Corporation to reduce total water produced over previous years. 2022 was closed off at an average Infrastructural Leakage Index (ILI) value of 1.87. This translates to an average value of 380 cubic metres per hour of leakage, compared with an average of 407 cubic metres per hour of leakage registered during 2014, which was a record year.Just for comparison, leakage in 1995 was 4000 cubic metre per hour with a corresponding ILI of 20.The WSC is looked upon as a “Best Practice” example of leakage control by other water companies.
NRW is now being aggressively tackled as losses do not only come about from leakages, but also misuse, meter under registration, and billing anomalies. Over the last 5 years, over 10% gains were registered in NRW, and our intention is to further gain another 5% over the coming two years.