Deterioration and fragmentation of rivers in Malta

S. M. Haslam, S. M. (1997) Deterioration and fragmentation of rivers in Malta. Freshwater Forum, 9, pp. 55-61.

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Malta, situated in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily, is a small island of less than 300 km2. Two hundred years ago Malta was a wet and sodden country. The limestone was like a sponge, with numerous perennial springs, great and small, and so full of water that most flat areas did not drain, but were marsh. Water from springs, rivers and marshes was in ample supply. In the space of two centuries, Malta's rivers have passed from being good, spring-regulated watercourses with a mixed community of clean limewater plants, to the present-day situation where many if not all are on the verge of extinction. This is the result of human impact, not climate change, and is set to continue and increase. Unfortunately the best wetland-type valley communities were scheduled to be destroyed in 1997 but, after a change of Government and vigorous representations, these may now be spared. However, there is at least a great opportunity to prevent further fragmentation of remaining rivers and to reclaim some of the fragmented portions.

Item Type: Article
Title: Deterioration and fragmentation of rivers in Malta
Personal Creator/Author:
S. M. Haslam, S. M.
Refereed: No
Journal or Publication Title: Freshwater Forum
Volume: 9
Page Range: pp. 55-61
Date: 1997
ISSN: 0961-4664
Issuing Agency: Freshwater Biological Association
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquatic plants; historical account; land drainage; limestone; water supply; water table; Sicily
Subjects: Limnology
Item ID: 4585
Depositing User: Hardy B Schwamm
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010 12:22
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:14

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