Title: Understanding population knowledge and attitudes of Maltese society for improved water governance

Authors: Kevin Gatt

Addresses: Department of Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta

Abstract: Uncontrolled abstraction of groundwater coupled with increased urbanisation is a challenge to a sustainable groundwater framework for the Maltese islands. Old forms of governance have made way for a governance challenge that responds to societal developments. Surveys amongst citizens provide the opportunity for decision makers to factor society's opinion prior to implementation. Trends in environmental governance have shown that democratic participation by citizens is an internationally recognised principle ensuring citizen involvement in decision-making for the environment that affects them and which result in more effective and equitable solutions than top down approaches. To this effect a national survey was conducted with the aim of characterising the Maltese population's attitudes, perception and knowledge in respect of water resources. The survey seeks to understand whether the key concepts characterising water resources in Malta are understood and if not where attention should be targeted with a view to improved water governance.

Keywords: water governance; water resources survey; capacity building; water conservation; water resources; population knowledge; population attitudes; Malta; urbanisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2015.073561

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.370 - 391

Available online: 12 Dec 2015 *

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