Wied iż-Żrinġ is part of the valley tributary system which starts from Wied Betta at Ħal Luqa and Bir Miftuħ at Gudja. These two valley courses join together at Wied Ġarnaw between Santa Luċija, Gudja and Ħal Għaxaq. The route continues by crossing Tal-Barrani at il-Maqgħad to Wied iż-Żrinġ. Then continues to Wied Mazzam Wied iż-Żiju and ends up at il-Magħluq at Marsaskala.
Wied iż-Żrinġ falls in part of the area which is being considered as part of the Buleben Industrial Estate extension. Notwithstanding this, the South Malta Local Plan environmental studies have identified this valley as an Area of Ecological Importance and Site of Scientific Importance. Moreover, all the surrounding agricultural land has been identified as a Valley Protection Zone. This is clearly shown on the “Zejtun Environmental Constraints Map” (Map ZN5 of the South Malta Local Plan approved in 2006.
Wied iż-Żrinġ was an important habitat for the Maltese Painted Frog, a species which is only found in Malta and Sicily. This habitat was severely disturbed when the Buleben Industrial Estate started being built in the 1960s and was extended in the early 1970s. There are people to whom we spoke who remember large populations of this frog in the area. Its current existence within the area needs to be studied and assessed.
This valley is an important water course. People who lived in the area recount that in the early 1950s, following a storm which brought heavy rain, this valley was flooded up to the area of San Klement and they as kids went paddling on the water in a large basin.
The heavy rain experienced in the last hours proved that the valley system is still active as an important watercourse with large volumes of water rushing through Wied iż-Żring and crossing Sqaq tad-Dawra. Flooding was evident in the area close to San Klement for most of the morning.
The amount of rain reported by the meteorological office in the last hours was that of 86mm. If the area being requested as an extension to the industrial estate (amounting to 120,000 sqr m) had to be built, this translates into an additional volume of over 10,000 cubic metres of water passing through Ġebel San Martin and San Klement area. Thus flooding of the area will definitely increase.
Great article, wish more could read it!