€130 million projects by the WSC, including in Gozo, get official approval

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€130 Million EU-Funded projects set to improve water quality and the environment to all-new highs  The Water Services Corporation has started a number of important upgrade projects that will increase tap water quality and encourage more people to use it for drinking purposes rather than resorting to bottled water. Moreover, and more importantly, this process will lead to much better efficiency, both in terms of production and distribution and also in relation to the sustainable management of the aquifer.  These wide-ranging and complimentary EU-funded projects amounting to over €130 million will revolutionise the way water is produced and distributed across Malta and Gozo. The Water Services Corporation project, “Towards a Net-Zero impact Utility,” has been officially approved, and will see an investment of over € 130 million in EU funds to drastically improve water quality in Malta and Gozo, reduce air emissions, increase efficiency, and conserve the groundwater.

The announcement was made during a ceremony at Hondoq, Gozo, the site of a new reverse osmosis plant for the island, and one of the key projects.

European Commissioner Carmelo Vella, during his address said that the EU will fund around € 73 million for this project, with the main objective of ensuring a continuous supply of good quality drinking water.

He mentioned how at the same time this project will be reducing the negative impact on the environment, which is normally caused during the processing and distribution of water.

Commissioner Vella added that water is an important resource for our existence, not only for humans, but also for the environment and our economy, so it needs to be used it in a sustainable way to ensure we have a secure supply for now and the future.

The Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi, said that this is a very important day for the Corporation, for the fact that not only has the project been approved by European institutions but was also considered by Jaspers, who are European Commission advisers, as in Common Position of Best Practice.

Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, said that this project in Hondoq is an important link in the strategy for the regional development of Gozo, “so that we have the necessary infrastructure to establish Gozo as a destination for tourism and economic development.”

“Overall this project will strengthen the rurality concept and water sustainability in the island, which will have its own water supply and no longer be dependent on Malta, therefore bringing more security and peace of mind for Gozitans and visitors to the island, added Dr Caruana.

She stressed that the strategy of the Ministry is to achieve sustainability in water resources for Gozo, with several initiatives and projects that will be included in the strategy for Gozo and to also obtain European funds.

“I will make sure that the island continues to benefit from economic growth and prosperity while respecting and strengthening the unique characteristics of the island,” said Minister Caruana.

The Minister congratulated and thanked Minister Mizzi, CEO Richard Bilocca and all WSC employees for their work in aid of Gozo and collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo.

Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri said that “to realise our aspiration of making Gozo a destination of choice, we need to have the highest level of infrastructure. The key element of this project is to improve the water supply and Gozo will then become self-sufficient in this respect.”

The ceremony was also addressed by CEO of the Corporation Richard Bilocca, Michelle Piccinino from the ERA, and Manuel Sapiano from the Energy and Water Agency.

Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri

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