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The late medieval water galleries in Malta (11th to 16th century AD)

Water was often managed by means of a time-sharing agreement between the different parties involved. The management of water, being a scarce resource on which the community depended, was considered of great importance in the communities. In the past water as a resource featured in the people’s everyday life, since they depended on rain water harvesting, and on the gallery systems for irrigation and for their needs.  

Place names in specific areas which include the term “għajn” or source also reflect the importance of water sources in these communities.

Perched aquifer galleries were possibly introduced locally from neighbouring Sicily as from the 12th century AD. Malta was during this period under the Norman sphere of influence. 

Later on after the 16th century AD when Malta comes under the order of the Knights of St. John, several other water works like aqueducts, fountains, etc are constructed, many of which survive to our days.