Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 1(1953)2(116)

[p.116] MORRIS, T.O.: The Water Supply Resources of Malta. Government of Malta, 1951 xiv, 125p. 15 tables. 15 plates.

This is the text of the report submitted to the Government of Malta by Mr. T.O. Morris, M.B.E., D.Sc., F.G.S., M.M.G.I. Its publication has been awaited for a long time and it is a good thing that this competent survey is now available in print.

The author states (p. 2) that “the need for organised municipal supplies has arise only during the last four centuries, since Malta became a strategic base of first class importance, and the change commenced from a relatively static, predominantly rural population, to one predominantly urban and increasingly rapid in numbers.”

Part II of this report, which takes up 43 pages, is devoted to “A Critical review of Water Supply Developments in Malta 1610-1945.” This extremely important section is followed by other chapters on “The Water Cycle in Malta” (pp. 45-61), “The Development and Conservation of the Main Sea Level Water Table” (pp. 62-75), “The Development and Conservation of the Upper Coralline Areas” (pp. 112-114), “The Present Position of Irrigation Supplies and the Prospects of Deep Boring” (pp. 115-120). A final note (pp. 124-125) is devoted to the prospects of improving the water supply of Gozo. The two-page bibliography (pp. 122-123) gives a useful list of papers consulted.

The report is of topical interest. The present water supply problem amply justifies the author’s statement (p. 1) that “a full reconciliation of the present trends of supply and demand threatens to become, within a comparatively short span of years, as much a political and social problem as an engineering one.” Of special interest to the historian is Part II where so much material, some of which in the form of unpublished official reports, is here brought together and summarised for the first time. The statistical tables and the plates form an added useful feature of this report.

J.[oseph] C.[assar] P.[ullicino]