Luke Frendo attended the Water-A Crises Green Drinks Gathering and this is what he had to say...thanks Luke, appreciated! The 30th of March is World Water Day. Unfortunately nothing is done in Malta to raise awareness about the importance of water and how fragile the water system in Malta is. That was what I thought until I found about the event, held by Green Drinks Malta which inspired this journal. “Green Drinks is a space created for people interested in the green movement across all disciplines, professions or interests’’. Natalie Debono, the brains behind Green Drinks Malta explained briefly yet concisely what Green Drinks are all about and what their aims are in Malta.
The event was held at Villa Madama, Balzan. The main speaker was Dr. Gordon Knox, who began his presentation by highlighting our dependence on water and how we lack this resource. The basic facts: Malta being a densely populated island dependent on R.O water and having an economy prone to the fluctuating prices of commodities such as oil.
However, oil is not the only resource, which our tiny island is having to barter for in such a rough economy. Along with the foodstuffs, which we must call upon abroad to supply us with, virtual water makes up 80% of our imports. This is the price of our gradual opening up to Europe, and the rest of the world. The global economy presents both an advantage and a source of extremely risky business.
(In a nutshell, virtual water is the water Malta imports through the food it imports which stand around 80%. Till now I have focused on the water crisis we have here in Malta. This phenomenon is not restricted to Malta, so what happens in the rice fields of Bangladesh affects Malta and vice versa. This is due to globalization, now Malta is importing large amounts of water. This is a risky business as like oil water has a fluctuating price.)
Dr. Knox also presented viable solutions and the paths available: “either business as usual or the establishment of ruthlessly conservative measures’’. He discussed the need to reduce our water footprint and to improve the water quality, which is lowered by the presence of excess nitrates due to the use of cheap fertilizers over the past 40 years or so. Mr. Knox believes that improving the mechanisms by which we bore for water and by ameliorating the distribution network; we may also boost the reverse osmosis plants’ chances of achieving a certain level of sustainability with respect to water.
Ignoring the problem will increase water bills, ruin farmland and cause more pollution through the burning of more fossil fuels to run the R.O plants as these consume a great deal of electricity.
After Mr. Knox gave his presentation, the group mingled and ideas were exchanged over some drinks. This is one of the best aspects of Green Drinks Malta as ideas are shared and mulled over there and then, hence motivating innovation. The relaxed environment the talk was held in also helps as it provides the company with an informal ambiance.
It is thanks to groups such as these that the respective authorities are dealing with this taxing quandary. The importance of activism and the belief that a person with no administrative power can create awareness about a problem and so forth is quite alive here in Malta. Apathy and indifference might plague our nation but at least some are doing something to reduce their water footprint. Which, at the end of the day, is the one important thing everyone has to do in order to reduce Malta’s perpetual shortage of the life-giving elixir that is water.
World Water Day should be further promoted in order to increase awareness about this precious resource and the Green Drinks’ gathering was definitely a good start!N.B A big thankyou to Dr Gordon Knox for his insightful presentation about Water Issues, Villa Madama for hosting the event and all the participants! from Green Drinks Malta! _______________________________________________________________
Water-A Crisis? - Green Drinks March 2010
Malta is heading for a water crisis in the near future, unless attitudes to water management and conservation change drastically. Water is scarce and under severe pressure in the Maltese islands. The natural water resources are over exploited and insufficient for the population of the islands, such that the shortfall is provided by expensive reverse osmosis (RO) plants and virtual water. The talk will discuss Maltese and global aspects of water. Two scenarios 'Business as Usual until Business Ends' and 'Ruthlessly Conservationist', with respect to Malta, will be compared.
Join us for an informative, mind-opening and insightful talk by Gordon Knox, a Geologist who has a special interest in natural resources.
Date: Wednesday 24th March
Time: 8pm - 10pm
Venue: Villa Madama, Balzan
To reserve a place, call 79603455 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org After the talk, we will socialise Green Drinks style. THIS IS A FREE EVENT.
Kindly pass on to your contacts who would appreciate learning, self-developing, analysing and enjoying.
The Green Drinks Team