Farmers keen to become more water efficient can now apply to receive expert advice and equipment installed in their fields, free of charge.

The €750,000 water audit plans, unveiled on Friday, will see water conservation experts visit up to 150 eligible farms to evaluate their water use and find ways of reducing it.

Solutions can range from quick fixes such as installing soil moisture sensors or improving irrigation systems, to bigger projects such as restoring dilapidated water reservoirs. Any works up to a maximum of €5,000 will be carried out for free.

Malta is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with limited rainfall and natural sources of water. The agricultural sector is the single largest consumer of water in the country.

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Energy and Water Management minister Joe Mizzi said that the newly-announced scheme would improve efficiency of water use and reduce the cost of water.

Water agency CEO Manuel Sapiano, minister Joe Mizzi and parliamentary secretary Clint Camilleri. Photo: DOI/Jason BorgWater agency CEO Manuel Sapiano, minister Joe Mizzi and parliamentary secretary Clint Camilleri. Photo: DOI/Jason Borg

The scheme will supplement other initiatives aimed at cutting farmers’ reliance on groundwater supplies, such as offering farmers in certain regions supplies of recycled ‘new water’, and other EU-funded water conservation projects.

Farmers interested in finding more about the scheme can apply through www.water.org.mt or www.ilma.org.mt  or visit the National Water Conservation Centre, GĦAJN in Rabat.

 

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