Rain fails to improve Algarve dam levels
Beliche dam (Luís Forra/Lusa)

Rain fails to improve Algarve dam levels

Algarve water reserves enough for one year

The latest rain that has fallen in the Algarve has had an almost insignificant effect on water levels at Algarve dams.

The Algarve’s water reserves continue to be enough for one year, with the total amount at regional dams being 145 cubic hectometres of water, a source from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action has told Lusa news agency.

The source clarified that the number refers to the amount of water at the Arade, Bravura, Funcho and Odelouca dams in the Western Algarve (Barlavento) and the Beliche and Odeleite dams in the Eastern Algarve (Sotavento).

The Algarve’s water scarcity is clearly visible in the data revealed by regional water authority Águas do Algarve on November 4, which shows that water levels at the three dams under its management range from 14% to 17%.

The ministry stressed, however, that a €200 million investment is underway to improve the Algarve’s water efficiency and management. The money, which is coming via the EU ‘bazooka’ officially named the Recovery and Resilience Plan, will be used to minimise water losses, improve water management and “increase the amount of water available in the Algarve.”

Around €35 million will go to “reducing water losses in the urban sector,” while €17 million will be invested to reduce “water losses and improve efficiency in the agricultural sector.”

The ministry adds that €5 million will be used to improve water management by strengthening and modernising surveillance systems, while €23 million will go into treating and reusing wastewater.

A large portion of the money (€75 million) will be used to carry out improvements and “increase the resilience” of dams, while €45 million is set aside to build a desalination plant – which, if all goes according to plan, should be built in Albufeira.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com