Għargħur Primary inaugurated the Qatra Qatra Project aimed at replenishing the water table whilst giving its students a great learning experience.
Funded by HSBC Water Programme – Catch the Drop Campaign, the main aim of the Qatra Qatra project was to install a GEO-INF system rainwater infiltration system to recover rainwater that was currently being wasted and ending up in the streets of Għargħur.
Through Qatra Qatra the rain water falling on a substantial part of Għargħur Primary School is being drained into a buffer tank, run into a gravel filter and eventually be discharged into the borehole to replenish the water table. Hydrologist Marco Cremona estimates that a total of 35,000 litres a year will be discharged into the water table.
The Qatra Qatra Project made the education about water the students receive as part of their curriculum, embedded in a real world context. This project raised awareness on the hydrology and geology of the Maltese islands, with a particular focus on the geology in Għargħur, where the school is located. The project also educated the students on national water issues and helped make students appreciate the value of this scarce water resource.
The Qatra Qatra Project consisted of various stages. The first part was an information session held by Ing Marco Cremona to give the students and the members of staff an overview of the project and its aims. This was followed by the drilling of 20m deep borehole and the installation of the draining system and buffer tank and the connection of all the parts. The most challenging part of the project was getting the required machinery inside the school yard. This whole process was documented voluntarily by Mediacoop and the resulting Qatra Qatra Project video was produced.
The Qatra Qatra project was inaugurated by Maria Regina College Principal Mr Patrick Decelis after a launch event organised by the Year 6 students and teachers.
The GEO-INF system requires little maintenance and does not require any electricity. The system is expected to last a number of years, during which time successive students will benefit from the presence of a functional system that crosscuts various subjects as science, social studies, geology, hydrology, water conservation and environmental science.
The rainwater infiltration design is the intellectual property of Sustech Consulting of Gżira, Malta, whose GEO-INF project won the Malta Innovation Award 2014, and was a finalist in the most prestigious environmental award in the world, the Energy Globe Award.