Production of electricity slowly returns to Portugal’s troubled dams

Production of electricity slowly returns to Portugal’s troubled dams

Many still below desired water levels but weather forecasts point to “a lot of rain” in coming days

Bit by bit, the production of hydro electricity is returning to the nation’s troubled dams.

APA (environment agency) has given the go-ahead to EDP to start generating again at the Alto Lindoso dam, in Ponte da Barca – even though levels were still not up to ‘minimum requirements’.

APA’s reasoning was that rain was on the way, in sufficient quantity, to safely allow production to get underway.

Elsewhere, hydro production is slowly returning to other dams among the 15 ‘mothballed’ back in October due to critically low water levels.

It’s ‘good news’ in many ways, but no real indication that the drought is ‘over’ (see image above). Mayor Augusto Marinho has told Lusa that “in spite of the heavy rain, the (Lindoso) dam has taken time to refill (…) It is a much more encouraging picture”, he admitted (…) but the municipality is still “apprehensive” over “the effect the rain has had on the borough’s water lines.

“We have seen that there is a lot of waste and organic matter in the water, a consequence of the (summer’s) forest fires. These rains, with the force with which they came, made it difficult for them to penetrate the soil. This can be seen in the water lines that we have in the area of the reservoirs, more specifically in the Touvedo dam – but also in other places where we had forest fires, which led to the intervention of civil protection. The amount of water that has fallen is a lot, but the retention capacity of the land is very low”.

Meantime, different areas are recovering at different speeds – the Barlavento Algarve remaining the worst affected region in terms of rainfall/ dam capacity.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com