Guadiana River to become “navigable” north of Alcoutim

The Algarve’s regional development commission (CCDR Algarve) has unveiled plans to make the Guadiana River “navigable” between Alcoutim and the Alentejan village of Pomarão by 2017.

The project, costing €2.5 million, is preparing a bid for EU funding through the INTERREG V-A programme, a source from CCDR Algarve told Lusa news agency. The bid will be led by Portugal’s board of natural resources, security and maritime services, though little has been explained about the work involved.

The blurb published in national press says only that Portuguese authorities are in talks with Spanish counterparts to get them to join in.

The announcement comes days after similar work was completed between Vila Real de Santo António and Alcoutim.

Costing €600,000, the work has been seen as a potential “tourism booster” as it will allow large vessels to use the river.

According to the council, the river is now safe to be used 24 hours a day with hundreds of beacons and lights indicating where the 30-metre wide channel has been created. In all, around 50,000 square metres of sediment was removed.

“Now that the river is navigable, it is up to the Lower Guadiana municipalities to take advantage of this and bolster maritime-touristic activity,” said VRSA mayor Luís Gomes.

In May, dredging work to the tune of €850,000 was completed at the river’s mouth in VRSA.

[email protected]