Water may start being rationed in the northern region of Alto Minho as soon as this month.
The warning has come from the president of the Alto Minho Intermunicipal Community (CIM), Manoel Batista.
“It is possible that there will be times when some systems will not have the capacity to supply water,” Batista told Público newspaper.
“We know there are municipalities in our neighbouring region of Galicia (Spain) where water consumption is already rationed, and supply is cut during certain periods of the day. That has not happened yet in Alto Minho because we have tried to make sure each reservoir is able to serve its respective supply system, but more serious measures may have to be taken,” he added.
Ten municipalities are part of CIM – Arcos de Valdevez, Caminha, Melgaço (which is already using water tankers to supply the population), Monção, Paredes de Coura, Ponta da Barca, Ponte de Lima, Valença, Viana do Castelo and Vila Nova de Cerveira.
Five other municipalities in the north have also admitted the possibility of cutting water supply at night: Manteigas, Mangualde, São Pedro do Sul, Tabuaço and Vale da Cambra.
Last week, Secretary of State for Nature Conservation and Forests, João Paulo Catarino, was busy signing protocols to provide €1.3 million to seven Trás-os-Montes local authorities to ensure water continues to reach people’s homes. Most of the money – more than €1 million – is destined to transport water in tankers.