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Valley Management




Għajn Riħana
Għajn Riħana
 
The Valley Management Unit's raison d’être is to implement measures in Maltese valleys to maintain their functioning and conserve the various services that they provide for human well-being including flood control, groundwater recharge, soil management, biodiversity, amongst others. The Valley Management Unit carries out small to medium scale interventions in valley stretches that require urgent maintenance including the removal of fly-tipped and accumulated material, control and removal of invasive and/or non-native plants, reinstatement of valley-side rubble walls and other water retention structures and restoration of rural infrastructure such as masonry bridges and channels. To replace invasive flora, indigenous vegetation is planted along valley sides according to the site-specific characteristics of the area, including phytosociology, to encourage natural regeneration and re-creation of riparian corridors.  Planting schemes in agriculture-intensive basins include pollinator-friendly plants.


Reinstatement of rubble walls at Wied Ħarq Ħamiem 
Wied Ħarq Ħamiem

 
The Valley Management Unit often collaborates with Local Councils, NGOs and other entities to rehabilitate specific streams. 1,300 indigenous plants were planted  in Wied il-Kbir, Wied is-Sewda, Wied iċ-Ċawsli in Qormi and Wied Ħesri in Siggiewi in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Qormi Local Council and the Siġġiewi Local Council. The Valley Management Unit also provides yearly assistance to the Għaqda tar-Residenti ta’ Santa Marija Estate NGO for the upkeep and restoration of Wied Għajn Żejtuna, limits off Mellieħa.  


Reinstatement of retention walls at Wied il-Ġnejna 
Wied il-Ġnejna 


In August 2017, a task force led by Valley Management Unit and including the Marine and Storm Water Unit (Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects), the Regional Committee for Local Councils and the Cleansing Directorate (Minstry for Justice, Culture and Local Government) was set up. The task force carried out an exercise with Malta’s Local Councils to identify valleys prone to littering. From this exercise, thirty-seven valley stretches were reported by various Local Councils and the Valley Management Unit is routinely removing waste material from these watercourses. 


Indigenous plants planted in Wied il-Kbir 
Wied il-Kbir

 
 EU Funded Projects

LIFE-IP RBMP-MALTA

This project is led by the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) and involves the Ministry for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change (MESDC), the Ministry for Energy and Water (MEW), the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects (MTIP) and the Ministry for Gozo (MGoz) as project beneficiary partners. The main aim of the project is to support the implementation of the second RBMP of the Maltese Islands through the establishment of an integrated framework for the optimised management of all water resources on the Islands. 

   EU Life logo RBMP Life Malta logo


The Valley Management Unit is responsible for the implementation of two actions in this project; Catchment Modelling and Pilot Projects in Integrated Valley Management.  The Catchment Modelling Action commenced in January 2018 and it involves the:
  • The identification and mapping of ecosystem services in Malta and Gozo’s main catchments;
  • The development of a centralised geodatabase of valley resources;
  • The development of a classification system for  sub-catchments to identify priority valleys for conservation;
  • Setting up of Master Plans and Technical Guidelines; and
  • Publication of an edited book on valley resources in the Maltese Islands.


Wied Għomor in St Julians 
Wied Għomor  in St Julians

 
The Pilot Projects in Integrated Valley Management Action will commence following the completion of the Catchment Modelling Action. The pilot projects (one in Malta and another in Gozo) will serve as case studies to monitor the effectiveness of the guidelines provided in the Master Plans developed in the Catchment Modelling component. The objectives of this action are to:
  • Conserve and enhance strategic ecosystem services provided in at least two valley stretches.
  • Inform and update the Catchment Modelling Master Plans and technical guidelines to enable the field testing of these recommendations, in order to introduce a positive feedback loop aimed at the continued improvement of the Master Plans.
  • Develop five-yearly management/maintenance plans for the pilot sites that can be used as a template in other projects/sites; and
  • Set a practical example on the application of Integrated Valley Management schemes that can be replicated in other catchments through the use of alternative funding instruments.


Alien species at Baħrija valley 
Arundo donax and Euchalyptus noted as alien species in Baħrija valley


Fresh water stream at Wied il-Ġnejna 
Fresh water stream at Wied il-Ġnejna