Villages without water for six days, pool filling blamed

“Excess consumption” blights municipality of Monção

The residents of three parishes in the municipality of Monção have experienced the sharpest end of Portugal’s ongoing drought: they were without water for the best part of a week.

According to one, who claimed to have been high and dry for eight days, it has meant being “unable to organise life. Without water, you cannot do anything”.

The reasons for water turning off last Tuesday in the parishes of Longos Vales, Bela and Troviscoso have been blamed on ‘excess consumption, and a broken pipeline”.

Agostinho Correia, in charge of the borough’s municipal services, told Lusa: “Our problem is not a lack of water. It is excessive consumption”.

He then went into a detailed description of how the council was pumping water into deposits, but that due to excess consumption “for example, to fill swimming pools”, particularly at night, there was not the pressure to allow water reach the municipality’s “highest areas” (namely Longos Vales, Bela and Troviscoso).

Thus taps in those areas yielded next to nothing for six days.

Agostinho Correia admitted that “a break in a pipe had also been found but it was repaired in the meantime”, stressing that “since the beginning of the month, water consumption has skyrocketed” due to the arrival of emigrés, visitors and tourists.

Rosa Moreira, resident in Couto in the parish of Longos Vales, confirmed that her water supply returned to normal, on Sunday, at the end of the day.

“In my house, there was no more water on Tuesday. It came back on Saturday, then it stopped again and came back on Sunday night. Let’s see if it will continue like this,” she told Lusa.

Rosa Moreira criticised “the absence, on the part of the municipal services, of a concrete answer” as to the reason for the lack of water and/ or solutions to solve the problem.

“The answer they gave us (throughout the week) was that the water would come today, tomorrow, and the next day and, in my house, it was eight days that we experienced this uncertainty, without being able to organise life. Without water, you can’t do anything”, she said, adding that she does not accept that excessive consumption is a justification for what happened.

There have been emigrés (returning for holidays) for many years. So, Monção is not prepared to receive double or triple the population? If so, next year we will have the same problem! What’s more, nobody fills a swimming pool in August”, she suggested. “They are filled up in May or June. Pools are not filled every day…

Source material: LUSA