Water storage levels have increased but drought continues

DESPITE THE increase in water levels at reservoirs in February in comparison to the previous month, the Instituto da Água (water institute) has emphasised that it is still too early to know if the drought situation is over.

In its monthly report, the institute says that the drought is continuing with weak to moderate intensity in 97 per cent of the country. The quantity of rainfall over the past 16 months is still below the average amount and it warned that the effects of two very dry successive years will have long-term consequences. Of the 57 reservoirs monitored, 10 currently stand at higher than 80 per cent of their total capacity while 12 are below 40 per cent. The water levels for February 2006 are still lower than average, when compared to those recorded between 1990 and 2002.