Water Consumption in Malta’s Domestic Sector
The water demand for domestic use in the Maltese islands is estimated to stand at around 20 million m3 per year, which amounts to 40% of the national water demand. This uncharacteristically high relative demand arises due to the high population density of the islands. Water demand is primarily sourced from the national distribution network operated by the Water Services Corporation, which is estimated to supply around 85% of the total domestic water demand. Sources of self-supply include rainwater harvesting in cisterns and self-groundwater abstraction, in particular from old-hand dug wells, locally known as ‘spieri’.
It is estimated that each person in the Maltese islands consumes around 90ltrs of water each day. From a sample surveys conducted on household water use, it was concluded that out of these 83ltrs, only 7l are used for cooking and drinking, whilst the remaining ltrs are used for various ‘washing’ purposes. In fact, on average, it is estimated that each person uses around 70ltrs of potable water every day to flush toilets, wash the dishes and shower or bath.
Although, these water consumption figures are on the low side compared to other EU Member States, and classify as rather efficient for domestic use, there is still scope and space for improvement. Increased efficient water use contributes to a lower national water demand thereby reducing the current pressures on Malta’s natural water resources. The following actions provide ‘tips’ on how water can be used more efficiently in the kitchen, when washing and in the bathroom.