Government promises “heavy hand” for negligence in water management and consumption

But stops short of “further restrictive measures” for parched Algarve

Environment minister Duarte Cordeiro was in Lagos yesterday, promising a “heavy hand for negligence in water management and consumption. 

“The Minister for the Environment also warns that in agriculture, in addition to restrictions on irrigation, there will be increased scrutiny of the extraction of water from boreholes”, wrote Lusa.

The government is going to be “tough” on anyone who doesn’t take a responsible approach to water management and consumption, at a critical time for the management of water resources, he went on.

“We’re going to be tough on anyone who doesn’t realise that they have to take a responsible attitude at a particularly complicated time,” Duarte Cordeiro told reporters, suggesting one of the ways of doing this will be to alter the Water Law, so that excessive consumers face much higher costs.

According to the Minister, whose full title is minister for Environment and Climate Action, water consumption in the Algarve so far “is five cubic hectometres below last year’s consumption”, but “more needs to be done” to encourage savings in urban consumption.

For Cordeiro, in addition to farms and municipalities “setting an example by reducing the volume of water used to irrigate gardens and communal spaces, we need to “do more to encourage urban consumption savings”.

“We have to realise where it (the incentive to save urban consumption) isn’t working and we have to continue with the structural investments provided for in the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP),” he said.

But he “rejected the idea that further restrictive measures on access to water in the Algarve are in the pipeline. For now, it is time to see if the rain comes in the autumn and winter. Until then, dams and aquifers will continue to be monitored”, he said.

Coinciding with the call by citrus farmers for a much more pro-active approach, it was hard to understand how long it will take for the government’s tough hand to come into play, while southern regions have essentially been told to wait patiently for rain.

Source: SIC Notícias