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University of Malta (2002)

Water demand management in small island developing states : with particular reference to Malta

Sammut, Vincent

Titre : Water demand management in small island developing states : with particular reference to Malta

Auteur : Sammut, Vincent

Université de soutenance : University of Malta

Grade : Master of Arts Islands and Small States Studies 2002

Résumé
Whether industrialised or developing, rieħ or poor, all countries alike in our day and age are concerned with water issues. The combined pressures of population density, socio-economic development, environmental degradation and climate change, particularly in respect of small islands States, no longer permit unlimited access to pure, safe water, nor the release of untreated wastewaters. This thesis looks at the expansion of water supply facilities as an increasingly unviable option for satisfying water demand. Most of the best supply opportunities have already been exploited, and marginal opportunities are much more expensive financially, economically, and environmentally. Recognising water is an economic commodity, this study strives to show that demand management measures, particularly water pricing, are much more efficient than most efforts to develop new water supplies, and are just as effective. Using the island of Malta as a case study, the issue of under-pricing is analysed, with the results indicating that household demand for water is closely correlated to price and income. Market prices are meant to ensure that the current and future demands for water resources are realistically achievable in a sustainable manner. However, empirical results indicate that contrary to theoretical expectations, multiple tariff structures are bearing a positive ’income effect’ on Maltese households. Due to heavy State subsidisation, the use of ’increasing marginal block prices’ is not serving its purpose and domestic consumers are not receiving the right message. They have no clear incentive to undertake water conservation. While from a theoretical point of view, once may indeed be considered as an important tool in the implementation of demand management strategies, the magnitude of price elasticity suggests that substantial increases in prices would be required to influence demand.

Présentation (OAR@UM)

Page publiée le 25 mai 2022