A nationwide monitoring system to track water quality percolating to the water table is being set up by the Energy and Water Agency. This technology, which is being set up together with Israeli company Sensoil, will detect any contaminants or nitrates found in the water on its way to the water table. In this way, if an abnormality is detected, action can be taken immediately before it reaches the groundwater, with possible serious effects. This is an improvement to the current monitoring system that can only test water from the water table, which cannot decipher when it reached that level.
The underground monitoring technology will be the first of its kind in Europe where it will monitor 14 sites all over Malta, therefore making it a nationwide system. The locations where purposely chosen to reflect different agricultural practices, as some of them are growing tomatoes or strawberries, while others have greenhouses or a vineyard. In this way, the data will allow for comparisons between different agricultural practices and its effect on groundwater.
The data that will be gathered through these monitoring station will also serve to indicate fertilizer quantities to be applied, avoiding excess use that would then make their way to the water table. Therefore, this will provide insight to farmers to lead to more sustainable practices.
This project, which is being financed through the European Union's Cohesion funds will allow for more data to be gathered in this field, to lead to better and more targeted policies, to safeguard groundwater and facilitate the farmers' agricultural activities.
During a press at one of the sites, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli highlighted the importance of such project and emphasised that this project is in line with a number of Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined by the United Nations, including SDG 6