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  • Linda Burton

Offshore groundwater, a new revolution?

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

According to UNICEF, half of the world's population could be living in areas facing water scarcity by 2025. Malta is no exemption, it already belongs to the world's 10 poorest countries when it comes to water resources per capita.

With a high population density, a large amount of annual tourists and almost inexistent surface waters, Malta is in a situation where its water demand exceeds its natural freshwater resources. Apart from underground aquifers, the Maltese islands rely heavily on their desalination plants which convert sea water into potable water through a process called Reverse Osmosis. There might be, however, another source of water which might meet the water demand of Malta's population in the future:

Scientists of the Marcan project who research offshore groundwater resources have just produced a study indicating freshened groundwater off shore between Valletta and Marsascala. The 5 year Marcan project was led by Dr. Aaron Micallef with its international team of scientists defining the characteristics and dynamics of offshore groundwater. It is estimated that the global volume of freshwater offshore is the equivalent of 4 times the volume used by humans in the past 200 years. Could this be a new revolution in the battle of groundwater scarcity? More info can be found on and the international journal "Geophysical Research Letters''.

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