water
Photo: Lisa Fotios (Pexels)

PSD demands answers over Algarve desalination plant

Algarve MPs demand “maximum transparency” 

PSD Algarve has forwarded a series of questions to the Ministry of Environment about the project to build a desalination plant in the Algarve, where salt will be removed from seawater to produce fresh water for the region.

In a statement to the press, the Algarve MPs elected by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) demand “maximum transparency regarding the construction process” of the region’s future desalination plant.

“In the last months, several news reports have shown uncertainties and doubts about aspects such as the location, size and financing model, which deserve a clear explanation from the government, namely the Minister of Environment,” the MPs say.

“The uncertainty and lack of decisions from the socialist government regarding the Algarve Desalination Plant can compromise the execution of a structural project for the region,” says MP Rui Cristina.

He adds that the region is facing an “endemic drought, worsened by climate change” and criticises “lack of contingency plans” to ensure water supply for human consumption and for “crucial activities of the regional economy.”

Cristina also stresses that “dams remain at minimum levels, despite the rain that has fallen” and that the “degradation of the Querença-Silves aquifer is worrying.”

This is why the party’s MPs for the Algarve believe it is so important to clarify the issue of the region’s desalination plant project.

They demand to “know the schedule of the Environmental Impact Assessment (AIA), as well as the entity or company hired to carry it out.”

The MPs also say it is “urgent” to clarify who will be in charge of running the plant, how much it will cost to build and how much of it will be covered by funding from the European ‘bazooka’ known as the Recovery and Resilience Plan (Plano de Recuperação e Resilência, or PRR).

“So that this project, like others, is not forgotten about, it is important to clarify when the plant is expected to be completed,” they add.

In terms of the location of the desalination plant, António Pina from the Algarve Municipalities Association said last year that Albufeira will likely be chosen after 12 locations were pitched.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com