Secretary of State for Environment visits São Brás de Alportel

Secretary of State praises São Brás water conservation measures

“These types of measures are extremely important,” the secretary of state said

Portugal’s Secretary of State for the Environment visited São Brás de Alportel on Tuesday, August 1 to learn about some of the water efficiency measures that have been implemented in the municipality.

Throughout the visit, Hugo Polido Marques witnessed first-hand some of the ongoing water efficiency measures being developed in the municipality, including the redevelopment of certain roundabouts, where grassy areas have been replaced with native species that require no irrigation.

Secretary of State for Environment visits São Brás de Alportel

Says the council, these gardens previously consumed approximately 500m3 of water per month and now “require no water”. This measure received an investment of approximately €37,000, funded by the Economic and Social Stabilisation Program (PEES).

The local council also showcased its pool water reuse system, which sees treated pool water being used in urban cleaning and irrigation services. This municipal investment of €27,000, also financed by PEES, allows for an average reuse of eight to nine m3 of water per day, amounting to 3,100 m3 of reused water over the course of a year.

The visit also allowed the secretary of state to learn about the renovation of the water supply distribution network in the Vilarinhos area, covering a length of 1,840 metres. This project was carried out this year as part of the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) and amounted to an investment of €120,000, helping reduce nightly flows in the area from 20 m3/h to 2 m3/h, resulting in an annual water saving of 150,000 m3. In other words, the local council is now able to more efficiently manage and reduce water flow during periods when water demand is generally lower, such as during night-time.

Secretary of State for Environment visits São Brás de Alportel

São Brás de Alportel Mayor Vítor Guerreiro said this visit was important to “show the government the work carried out by our municipality,” adding that “water conservation and reuse” is one of the council’s priorities.

“We all need to make our systems more efficient, we need to take measures to conserve and reuse water),” the mayor said, noting that it is a collective effort that starts with every citizen.

The municipality also aims to take advantage of available RRP funding and other financing measures to invest in the conversion of systems and the implementation of measures that promote efficient water use and reuse, it says in a statement to the press.

Meanwhile, Hugo Polido Pires also had the opportunity to learn about the zoning project of the water supply network with the installation of flow metres, a €150,000 project which he praised.

Secretary of State for Environment visits São Brás de Alportel

“This type of water reuse measures, especially in a region with significant water scarcity, are extremely important. I am pleased to witness the effort that the municipality is making to save water and to think about a sustainable territory and future generations,” he said.

According to São Brás council, water-saving measures implemented in 2022 led to a reduction in losses within its water supply system of approximately 300,000m3 compared to consumption levels in 2021.

By Michael Bruxo
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