A historic rainwater reservoir at San Anton Palace has been restored and will now be used to irrigate the place's orange groves. 

Oranges from the grove are then sold at the annual Citrus Festival held on palace grounds.

The reservoir, which can hold more than one million litres of water, was restored after lying dormant for over 30 years. 

Restoration works began following a memorandum of understanding signed between the Office of the President, Energy and Water Agency of Malta and the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in March 2017. 

Speaking on Wednesday, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said she had been shocked to find out that the 400-year-old reservoir was not being used. 

“When I first came to San Anton Palace, I asked about water conservation and irrigation and found that the palace gardens were irrigated using water extracted from a borehole,” President Coleiro Preca said.

“This was shocking, since I could not understand why the reservoir was not being used,” she said, adding that the restoration was part of a larger plan of works in San Anton Palace.

Stressing the need to preserve water, the President said the works on the reservoir would help increase the preservation of water.

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