A hydrogeological study to support the optimized management of the main sea level aquifer of the island of Malta

Maurizio Polemio (a), Manuel Sapiano (b), Francesca Santaloia (a), Alessia Basso (a), Vittoria Dragone (a), Giorgio De Giorgio (a), Pierpaolo Limoni (a), Livia Emanuela Zuffianò (a), Mangion John (b) & Micheael Schembri (b)
(a) Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica - CNR, Bari, Italy. (b) Energy and Water Agency - EWA, Luqa, Malta. Corresponding author e-mail: m.polemio@ba.irpi.cnr.it


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3301/ROL.2019.16         Pages: 85-89

Abstract

The Maltese Islands are located in the central Mediterranean area, on the Malta-Sicily Platform. The archipelago consists of three main islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, and several other small uninhabited islets. Malta, the largest of the three islands, has an extent of 246 km2. The aim of this paper is to describe the collaboration between CNRIRPI and EWA (Energy and Water Agency of Malta) and the efforts to upgrade the hydrogeological knowledge of the Malta Island, pursuing the sustainable utilisation of groundwater resources. This will support the water management activities for optimizing the use of Malta's groundwater resources. Firstly, a review of the hydrogeological environment of the aquifer systems has been undertaken, identifying so some important data gaps that should be filled up. The eventual groundwater body management tool to be developed under this collaborative initiative will enable the formulation and testing of updated groundwater exploitation strategies. These plans ensure the protection of the groundwater bodies from regional and localized sea-water intrusion, whilst taking full consideration of the potential effects of climate change, including the variability of recharge, sea level and seawater salinity.

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