The Minister of the Environment stressed that the south of the country is the area most affected by the lack of water and recalled the seven dry years of the last decade.
The lack of water in the Alentejo basins has been critical since 2015 and in the Algarve since 2020, warned the Minister for the Environment this Tuesday.
At a regimental parliamentary hearing, Duarte Cordeiro mentioned climate change and water management, taking stock of what is being done in the Algarve and Alentejo.
In the Algarve, with an investment of €200 million, 34 applications were submitted to reduce losses in the urban water distribution sector, of which 22 were approved, 12 of which are under analysis.
In the Barlavento’s hydro-agricultural developments, in Alvor and Silves, execution projects are underway, and four applications have already been received to improve private irrigation.
Duarte Cordeiro also said that a contract was launched for the construction of 50 water level metres and that work should begin later this year to reuse wastewater from the Wastewater Treatment Stations (WWTP) in Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, Boavista and Albufeira.
Then, this summer, work begins to double the water transport capacity between the Sotavento and Barlavento dams. The work to capture the dead volume of the Odeleite dam has already ended, and the environmental assessment of the project for the desalination plant in Albufeira has already begun, which should start capturingwater in Pomarão this month.
As for the Alentejo, the Water Efficiency Plan was presented, which foresees investments of €993 million, essentially for agriculture.
Most of the measures, said the minister, are achievable by 2027, revealing that the contract to connect the Monte da Rocha dam to the Alqueva will be launched this summer.
The Minister of the Environment stressed that the south of the country is the area most affected by the lack of water. He recalled the seven dry years of the last decade and pointed out that between 2019 and 2022, the years were all dry and hot (high air temperature and below-average precipitation).
“Of the 30 hottest years in mainland Portugal, considering the period between 1931 and 2022, 22 occurred after 1990 and 15 since 2000. The year 2022 was the hottest in the last 92 years”, he warned.