Resources Minister George Pullicino said Malta needed to protect its ground water and give the water table time to recharge itself. It was estimated that ground water would be sustainable if extraction did not exceed 23 million cubic metres annually, yet that number was being exceeded by 11 million cubic metres every year.
He warned that all those who did not register their boreholes within a month would be liable for a fine of between €9,300 and €18,600 in terms of a law enacted in 1997. Registering a borehole did not mean an automatic right to extract groundwater, the minister said.
Furthermore, no new boreholes may be drilled without prior permission from the Malta Resources Authority.
For the time being, however, no new permits would be granted until the situation was assessed and the water table was allowed to re-establish itself.
Anyone drilling boreholes illegally would be liable for a fine of between €20,000 and €50,000 and equipment would be confiscated. More >>>
[If I were building a home in the Cayman Islandsor anywhere today I would construct a tank or cistern to collect my rain water from my roof. This was the traditional norm in many parts of the world prior to mains water systems. In this time of growing water shortages around the world it seems criminal to waste the wonderful rain water, which is free. For those who remember hurricane Ivan you will also remember the lack of running water. As more of our land area becomes paved for roads and parking lots there is correspondingly less water being replenished into the acquifer. Perhaps there needs to be, or maybe there is, a permeable paving system to allow water to pass through it. Ed]