In Malta
Just like in most Mediterranean countries, natural freshwater resources are scarce and under pressure. Thus, it is very important that Non Conventional Water Resources (NCWRs) are used.
The Alter Aqua
Programme
Due to increasing water scarcity and growing demand, the Programme aims to promote NCWRs, such as rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, to meet the Gozo island's water needs.
Developed by MIO-ECSDE, NTM and GWP-Med, in the framework of the Alter Aqua Programme,
(© GWP-Med & MIO-ECSDE, 2012, ISBN: 978-960-6793-09-7)
 
Saving water at home
  • Turn the tap off when washing hands, brushing teeth, doing the dishes etc., and opt for short showers instead of long baths.
  • Use a water efficient dual flush toilet: it uses less than 50% of water used by a traditional toilet.
  • Check for a runny toilet by adding a few drops of ink in the flushing tank: if the toilet is leaking, colored water will appear in the toilet bowl after a few minutes. A leaking toilet tank can waste hundreds of litres of water in just one day.
  • Use the washing machine and dishwasher only when full: Using a fully loaded washing machine saves about 13 m³ of water per year, while a low water consumption washing machine saves up to 4 m³ of water per year.

  • Install water saving devices when possible, such as aerators, low flow taps, dual flush toilets, “water hippos” etc.: a brick/filled plastic bottle in the toilet tank is an efficient and no cost option to save water.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables in a half-filled sink instead of letting the tap water run.
  • Check for leaking taps in the house: if the main water meter is counting when all taps are turned off, you probably have a leak somewhere.
  • Use a bucket or a broom instead of a hose when washing a car/bicycle or when cleaning balconies, yards and sidewalks.
Smart Fact
The toilet flush consumes over 30% of the water used at home, followed by showers and baths.
 
Saving water in the garden
  • Use a water can instead of the hose, if you only have a few flowerpots.
  • Water your plants early in the morning or in the evening.
  • Generously water your plants or use a controlled drip irrigation system once/twice per week instead of daily sprinkling them: the first option allows the absorption of the correct water quantity by the soil and reduces the evaporation losses, while the second one does not allow the soil to dry up in between.
  • Contour soil around each plant so that water is retained and directed to its roots.
  • Plant indigenous plants of the region in your home and school garden: they have considerably lower irrigation needs since they are accustomed to water scarcity and local weather conditions.
Smart Fact
It takes 200,000,000 litres per second to grow the food needed to feed the planet.
 
Saving water at school
  • Check for leaks and damages in the school water system (taps, tanks, pipes, cisterns etc.) and inform the school management for any repairs needed.
  • Try to involve all students in the school’s water saving efforts.
  • Don’t leave taps running in the yard and in the toilet washrooms.
  • Keep the collection surface of the school cistern clean and use a rainwater gauge to estimate the amount of water collected per year.
Smart Fact
70% of the earth is covered with water but only 1% of the world’s water is ready to drink.
 
Recycling greywater
The use of greywater in toilets can decrease daily consumption in a household by 1/4. For the average household in Malta the amount of greywater generated from showers and hand washing is enough for flushing the toilet on a daily basis.

Greywater is the wastewater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and partly from kitchen appliances. It can be collected together with the excess water running e.g. from drinking taps, treated and reused for watering in the garden, toilet flushing and other water uses at home or at school.

 
Harvesting rainwater
  • Collect rainwater and use it for toilet flushing, yard and clothes washing, garden irrigation etc.
  • Clean the roof, gutters and filters before the first autumn rain, and remove any remaining silt in the cistern.
  • Let the first downpour wash out the roof every time it rains, and then start filling the tank.
  • Don’t drink rainwater without any treatment with disinfectants: this contains microorganisms and is poor in minerals, entailing thus health risks.
Smart Fact
Out of the total amount of water used in a household, approximately 95% of it goes down the drain.
 
Learn & Play
Rainwater harvesting is a millennial tradition in Malta and several other Mediterranean countries. Explore past techniques for water collection and management that have been used there at www.hydriaproject.net.
Apply the water saving tips by guiding Alex to make the right choices!
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