Action A.8: Catchment Modelling
Preparatory action

The development of a national structure to guide policy and management decisions balancing human and environmental needs in Malta’s water catchments. This will be achieved through the preparation of Master Plans and Technical Guidelines of Selected Valley Catchments in the Maltese Islands. 

The Project forms part of the LIFE 16 IPE MT 008 Project on the Optimisation of the implementation of the 2nd River Basin Management Plan in the Malta River Basin District.  The Project involves the formulation of Master Plans and Technical Guidelines for 16 major water catchments in Malta and Gozo.  There will be 12 Master Plans, with three plans addressing more than one catchment, where the catchments are adjacent. 

Adi Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd has been awarded the contract by Parks Malta (Valley Management Unit) to formulate the Master Plans and Technical Guidelines

Project Objectives

  • To develop Master Plans - providing a strategic policy framework to encourage integrated valley management (Integrated River Basin Management and Planning)
  • To provide guidance frameworks for the management of resources (e.g., water) that can be replicated for other catchments
  • To develop technical guidelines to inform the implementation of management interventions
  • To provide a framework for the conservation and enhancement of the ecosystem services provided by water catchments and valleys


Where are the catchments?


1. Wied il-Għasel Catchment


2. Wied il-Kbir Catchment


3. Wied il-Għajn and Wied Sant’ Antnin Catchments



4. Wied Żembaq, Wied Dalam and Wied il-Qoton Catchments





5. Wied Ħarq Ħammiem and Wied Għomor Catchments


6. Wied tal-Mistra Catchment


7. Il-Wied tal-Ġnejna Catchment


8. Wied il-Baħrija Catchment


9. Wied Blandun Catchment


10. Wied tad-Dwejra Catchment (Gozo)


11. Wied tax-Xlendi Catchment (Gozo)


12. Il-Wied tal-Imġarr Catchment (Gozo)


Why are the Master Plans being prepared?


The Master Plans will:


  • Provide a long-term planning framework for the management and conservation of environmental resources found in the water catchments

  • Provide a written and approved document which has been formulated following public consultation;

  • Describe the water catchment, the problems and issues related to the catchment, and opportunities for management of the catchment to address the issues;

  • Provide a commitment to, and guidance for, the management and conservation of the catchment;

  • Present the vision and strategic direction for the catchment until 2050, and detail how the catchment will be managed to achieve the agreed management objectives; and

  • Outline measurable outcomes for the catchment in the short-term (5-years), medium-term (15-years) and long-term (30-years).

What does having a Master Plan mean?

The Master Plans will ensure that the uses and activities that take place within the water catchments are sustainable.  Importantly, the Master Plans will ensure that the future management of the valleys will protect and enhance the ecosystem services provided by the water catchments.  Valleys and water catchments are important for the ecosystem services they provide to humans, as well as being important natural habitats for Maltese flora and fauna. 


Photo of action
Photo of action
  • Valleys are a critical component in Malta’s hydrological system as they funnel rainwater, providing temporary surface water storage and replenishment of groundwater resources. Given that Malta is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, pressures

  • on valleys result from the different land uses and industries, which in turn modify these valleys’ natural morphology with severe consequences to their physical capacity to convey water and sustain ecological assets. Action A.8 will thus seek to address these issues.

  • The development of a long-term vision for the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Malta’s valleys. This action will provide the strategic framework for a rainwater harvesting

  • project (RainWiiN) financed through the Cohesion Funds which will involve the restoration of dams and valley catchments to enhance the harvesting and aquifer recharge potential of potential watercourses.

Take a look at the Deliverables for this action.

Report on the identification of the main ecosystems and ecosystems services present, and their status, in major catchments areas in the Maltese Islands, including ecosystem services maps.

A Master Plan with technical guidelines for each major catchment of the Maltese Islands with specific management proposals for various sub-catchments.

Edited book with a collection of articles/chapters from different experts on valley resources in the Maltese Islands.

A geodatabase in GIS format containing multidisciplinary baseline data and information on valley resources.