2021 Project

Vittoriosa - Water saving City

Vittoriosa has a rich water conservation history, seen in the numerous public and private cisterns located within its urban area. These cisterns, if effectively used, provide an opportunity for optimizing the management of rainwater runoff flows within the city reducing the risk of urban flooding and increasing urban climate resilience.

The rehabilitated reservoir in Victory Square provides a new source of water for secondary uses within the city, such as street cleaning and the irrigation of green spaces. Through the reservoir’s restoration, the Alter Aqua project also aims to raise awareness on the important role of rainwater harvesting as an alternative, or non-conventional, water resource for addressing urban water demands.

The effective use of Non-Conventional Water Resources, and the involvement of the local community in the rehabilitation of the Victory Square reservoir, provides a tangible example of sustainability for the Urban Environment, a key step in building sustainable and resilient communities.

Importantly, the use of non-conventional water resources for urban purposes requiring second class water is in alignment with the objectives of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Targets 6.4 and 6.b under SDG6 – Clean Water and Sanitation.

Target 6.4: By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

Target 6.b: Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.

Reservoir Under Victory Square

1847,Reservoir outside the main gates of Vittoriosa which lies in a state of neglect.
Photo credit: Steve Mallia (Il-Ġibjun)

Birgu - Inquisitors Palace Well

Reservoir at the Inquisitor’s Place in Vittoriosa
Photo credit: Steve Mallia (Il-Ġibjun)

Reservoir Under Victory Square

The cistern in the Victory Square is thought to date back to around the 17th Century and is one of the largest reservoirs in Vittoriosa. Due to it’s central and historical importance, this reservoir was selected to be rehabilitated through the ALTERAQUA Project. 

In fact, during 2021 the reservoir underwent extensive rehabilitation works to enable the reinstatement of its water catchment capacity.

The rehabilitation works started with the removal of 64 tons of sludge. This was then followed by the cleaning and plastering of the walls and floors of the reservoir.  New manholes were also installed to facilitate future cleaning works on the reservoir.

The Victory Square reservoir has a storage capacity of around 800,000 litres of water, which now are available for secondary water uses in the locality – such as for street cleaning and the landscape irrigation.


Restoration works of the Victory Square Reservoir, 2021

Il-Gibjun - Birgu Pjazza

1847, The Victory Square Reservoir following restoration.
Photo Credit: Steven Mallia (Il-Ġibjun)

Il-Gibjun - Birgu Pjazza

The Victory Square Reservoir filled up with rainwater following the start of the wet season.
Photo Credit: Steven Mallia (Il-Ġibjun)

Il-Gibjun - Birgu Pjazza

Section and Plan of Cisterns in Vittoriosa – “Piazza della Vittoria, sotto la Statua”
1847, Survey of Public Tanks and Cisterns
Courtesy: Archives, Water Services Corporation