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Water extraction suspended to ensure lagoon’s survival

Golf course suspends water extraction to ensure lagoon’s survival

Algarve’s hydrographic authority is monitoring water levels at Lagoa dos Salgados, between Albufeira and Armação de Pêra, in order to assess the impact a nearby golf course is having on the lagoon, which runs the risk of drying out within a month.

According to Lusa news agency, the Administração da Região Hidrográfica (ARH) has determined that the Albufeira Poente water treatment plant (ETAR) should supply its water exclusively to top up the lagoon, rather than share it with the Salgados golf course for irrigation purposes.

A source from the ARH said: “We have already contacted the owner of the golf course who agreed to suspend water extraction during the weekend (last), in order for us to determine the real impact on the lagoon’s water levels.

“Only then will we be able to conclude what measures to take.”

What is at stake is the imminent risk of the lagoon drying up, which would lead to the depletion of fauna and flora species in the area.

Lagoa dos Salgados is a favourite breeding site for a variety of birds, including endangered species (Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck), and attracts hundreds of bird watchers and nature lovers each year.

The Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) has issued an alert about the dangers a shallow water depth would pose on habitats and how it could affect the current bird breeding season.

Domingos Leitão from SPEA said that without urgent action from the authorities, the Lagoa dos Salgados runs the risk of drying out completely within a month.

A plan for the management of Lagoa dos Salgados, which includes the dredging of the lagoon and the construction of a dyke, is currently being developed by the ARH but can only be implemented after the nesting season. I.L.