FAOLEX Database

Framework Law

The main law applicable to water resources management, which covers all of the following areas: administration; management, conservation and use of freshwater resources; water rights; waterworks; water supply
No legislation available

Constitutional provisions

Date of text: 21 September 1964

Right to water: No provisions regarding the right to water.

Natural resources: Nothing in article 37 (protection from deprivation of property) shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it provides for the taking of possession or acquisition of property for so long only as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or inquiry or, in the case of land, the carrying out thereon (i) of work of soil conservation or the conservation of other natural resources of any description or of war damage reconstruction; or (ii) of agricultural development or improvement which the owner or occupier of the land has been required and has without reasonable and lawful excuse refused or failed to carry out. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it provides for vesting in the Government of Malta the ownership of any underground minerals or water.


Water used for irrigation, forestry and aquaculture

Water Supply and Sanitation

Provision of water services by public utilities or commercial organizations; water supply for domestic, industrial or other purposes; right to safe and clean drinking water and basic sanitation; quality of piped water; sewerage
Date of original text: 20 January 1992 (2020)


The political, social, economic and administrative systems that govern water management and conservation; good practices; good governance; decentralization; water user’s associations
Date of text: 08 July 2020
Date of original text: 20 January 1992 (2020)


Waterworks; water supply systems; dams; hydropower systems; irrigation systems
No legislation available

Water Resources Management and Water Rights

Ownership and control of water resources; abstraction and diversion of water; allocation and quotas; riparian rights; priority of rights; free water use

Water and Environment

Water in environmentally-sensitive areas; ‘water demand’ by ecosystems; protection forests; water conservation zones; environmental impact assessment

Water Quality and Pollution Control

Control of pollution and quality of freshwater bodies and groundwater; agricultural point and non-point sources of pollution; water quality standards
Date of text: 08 July 2020
Date of original text: 20 January 1992 (2020)


Freshwater resources located below the surface of the earth; aquifers; groundwater abstraction; well-sinking; boreholes; hydrogeology

Disaster Resilience

Water-related hazards; flood; drought; water shortage; adaptation to climate change; early warning system/emergency intervention system

Transboundary Waters

Transboundary effects; international basin institutions; international agreements; transboundary coordination; transboundary aquifers