Public pools reopen after drought

MUNICIPAL SWIMMING pools in the Algarve are reopening following significant levels of rainfall so far this autumn.

But the decision announced by Macário Correia, president of the Junta Metropolitana do Algarve, (the area’s regional assembly) is conditional on more rain in the future. “If the drought returns during the next few weeks, they could be closed again,” he conceded.

Swimming lessons for babies started again this Saturday at Olhão’s municipal pool – lessons would normally have begun in early September, but the starting was delayed due to the drought. Such is the popularity of these Saturday morning classes that some babies remain on the waiting list for a place for up to a year. It has even been known for mothers to register for a place while they are still pregnant.

The Resident spoke to some parents whose infants were due to attend at the weekend. Tony Costa from Ludo said: “My son has been waiting for more than six months for a place and we can’t wait to get him started this weekend.” Jane Morris from Montenegro told us: “It is a real relief that the pools have reopened. My daughter loves swimming and it’s been so hard to keep her occupied at weekends,” she said.

In spite of a promising beginning to the rainy season, Correia stressed that the drought is far from over. “If four of five times this amount falls, the drought scenario will disappear. But between 400 and 500 millimetres will have to fall,” he stated. In the first three weeks of October 100 millimetres of rain fell in the Sotavento region, almost matching last year’s entire rainfall of 113 millimetres.