The Malta Independent 2 February 2023, Thursday
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The restoration of the Orange Grove Reservoir at San Anton Palace

Friday, 11 May 2018, 11:42 Last update: about 6 years ago

Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, presided over a ceremony to mark the restoration of the Orange Grove Reservoir, in the presence of the Minister for Energy and Water Management Hon. Joe Mizzi.

The reinstatement of a rainwater harvesting reservoir at San Anton Palace is part of the framework of Alter Aqua Program which is funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation, and implemented by the Global Water -Partnership - Mediterranean, in partnership with the Energy and Water Agency and GSD Marketing Ltd.


The San Anton Garden reservoir was built by the Knights of Malta and has a capacity of 1,800,000 litres. Its reinstatement, under the technical supervision of the Energy and Water Agency and GWP-Med, presents historic, cultural, social and water management significance. Harvesting rainwater today through a system built over 400 years ago highlights the intrinsic value of water solutions for sustaining life on the island. This water will now be used to irrigate the orange grove of the Palace and its Gardens.

The President said that the idea to bring the reservoir to life, is part of a wider restoration project which the Presidency has undertaken at San Anton Palace. President Coleiro Preca said that "we are also committed to the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals", in particular Goal 6 which addresses water sustainability.  Her Excellency thanked all the stakeholders involved in this project for being a part of this project - "a project which became a reality thanks to our combined efforts".

''Through Alter Aqua we have succeed to positively impact the lives of 65,000 people in the Maltese Islands by collecting and reusing more than 17 million litres of water on an annual basis. Through the Alter Aqua project, more than 15,000 students have been educated on sustainable development in schools, while 138 teachers have been trained since 2011.  We believe in leading by example and through the Alter Aqua program we applied best practices but we also recognize that these impressive results are because of the power of collective action and collaboration of the program's partners. I am certain that we wouldn't have been so successful if we didn't have partners that share the same vision and values for building thriving and prosperous communities.'' stated Maria Micallef, Chief Executive Officer, GSD Marketing. Ltd

 "Alteraqua has had an effective impact over its seven-year lifetime and has resulted in the generation of an annual capacity of around 18 million litres of non-conventional water resources, which can be used in substitution of natural water resources." said the Minister for Energy and Water Resources Hon.Joe Mizzi

"The Alter Aqua Program has for 6 years been consistently contributing to local water security in the Maltese Islands, by demonstrating Non-Conventional Water Resources technical solutions in public buildings and spaces and raising awareness with emphasis on youth. The reinstatement of this landmark rainwater harvesting reservoir is a milestone for the Program and a contribution to the Maltese community and its rich history. GWP-Med's mission is to promote sustainable utilisation of water resources and this intervention is a tangible proof of our work," said Prof. Michael Scoullos, Chairman, Global Water Partnership- Mediterranean.

The beauty of the San Anton Palace and its Gardens have always attracted tourists and locals. From now on, the Gardens will also serve as an example for sustainable water practices in Malta. It will signify the connection to the past, the evolution of water management practices, and the importance of benefiting the community.


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