Effective water management is a “global challenge” but “especially important in the Algarve”
The president of regional water authority Águas do Algarve (AdA) has predicted half of the nearly 40 golf courses in the region could be irrigated with treated wastewater by 2025.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, António Eusébio said that the estimate is based on a €23 million investment to be implemented by 2025 as part of the Water Efficiency Plan to produce treated wastewater for irrigation.
“With this investment, we estimate an increase of 1,4 cubic hectometres to 8 cubic hectometres per year, with 71% going to golf courses,” the AdA boss said.
According to Eusébio, golf courses currently consume about 15 cubic hectometers of water per year. The goal of Águas do Algarve is to reach the end of 2025 with eight cubic hectometers used mainly for golf course irrigation. The president of the water authority also said that reused water from Wastewater Treatment Plants (ETAR) can be used not only for golf course irrigation but also for agricultural irrigation, street cleaning, and public green spaces.
António Eusébio was one of the speakers at a seminar on wastewater management in golf courses organised by the Portuguese Golf Federation, which took place in Lagos on Tuesday.
“It is an extremely important meeting,” said Eusébio, addressing the entrepreneurs in attendance. “It is fundamental that we work together to obtain new water sources, new reserves and ways of reusing water.”
While using treated wastewater may not necessarily be a “new source,” he said it “allows us to keep water in dams and boreholes.” Thus, by using treated wastewater to irrigate golf courses, the remaining water left in the region’s reservoirs can be used “essentially” for public supply, Eusébio added.
For António Eusébio, effective water management is a “global challenge”, but it holds significant importance in the Algarve, “a region currently facing one of the most critical water scarcity moments in decades.”
He also announced that Águas do Algarve is working on five projects with funds from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) to improve water efficiency in Vila Real de Santo António, Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago (Loulé), Albufeira Poente, and Boavista (Lagos).
The largest projects are in Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago, which represent a €14.7 million investment. In Vilamoura, approximately 12 kilometers of piping will be completed by 2025 to connect to the beach resort’s ETAR for the irrigation of five golf courses and green spaces. In Quinta do Lago, similar works will be completed to connect the system to three more golf courses and additional green spaces by 2025.
As for Albufeira Poente and Boavista, António Eusébio mentioned that while they are not as large in scale, these projects are already in progress, with the Boavista project expected to be completed in 2024.
“All these measures and investments are crucial to ensure a better balance between water demand and availability. Everyone must strive to do more and better to face the challenges of climate change,” said Eusébio