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Down to Earth

Malta's quest to quench its thirst

Malta is surrounded by water, and yet it is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. The small Mediterranean island has no permanent rivers or lakes and gets an average of only 60 rainy days per year. Malta’s only source of freshwater can be found below the Earth's surface, in the aquifer.

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The country now pumps out more than half of its groundwater reserves and demand is on the rise, largely because of tourism, the agriculture sector and a growing population. As a result, freshwater supplies are shrinking at an alarming rate. The Down to Earth team descended into Malta's underground water galleries to inspect the damage.

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