Lack of rain raises fears  over water supplies.jpg

Lack of rain raises fears  over water supplies

Rainfall in the Algarve for September and October was more than 50 per cent below the normal average recorded for the last 30 years, causing dams in the region to be low on water reserves.

Between Vila Real de Santo António and Faro in the eastern Algarve and along the Costa Vicentina in the west, rainfall was more than 50 per cent below the average for October between 1971 and 2000, according to the national meteorological institute.

Only the Portimão area had rainfall close to the normal average, at 20 per cent below what would be expected.

In September, the Algarve was drier still, with Monchique receiving less than 10 per cent of the normal average rainfall for that month, while the rest of the region received less than 40 per cent of the expected.

According to the meteorological institute, precipitation for October this year is similar to the same month in 2008, although in September 2008 the region received 350 per cent more rainfall than expected.

The October report from the regional water authority, Administração da Região Hidrográfica do Algarve (ARH) said: “The situation in several dams is not favourable, namely those that are located in the Arade basin, which are much below half of their maximum capacity.”

According to the report, water in the Funcho dam is at 9.3 per cent of the dam’s maximum capacity and 9.9 per cent in the Arade dam.

The region’s remaining dams are above half of their maximum capacity, but rain is needed to increase the volume of stored water.

ARH also reports that the Algarve’s underground aquifers “had a marked decline during the summer”.

“The current situation is worrying because the levels continue to go down,” it added.

Do you have a view on this story? Email us at [email protected]