Algarve councils respond to drought by reducing irrigation and closing sources

Mayors met yesterday with the Portuguese Environment Agency

Reducing the irrigation of green spaces as much as possible, even if that means letting some dry, using treated wastewater for urban cleaning and turning off sources are some of the measures that the Chambers of the Algarve may adopt, in order to save water and set an example for population, who will also be asked to be more careful in the use of this essential good.

These measures were discussed during a meeting between the Portuguese Environment Agency and mayors of the Algarve, which took place this Wednesday, February 23, in Lagos.

Tomorrow, Friday, the mayors will decide what concrete measures they will take to alleviate the effects of the drought, at an ordinary meeting of AMAL – Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve.

At this meeting, the mayors of the Algarve will try to «find a common position, to give some signals on this issue».

On the table will be the issues that were discussed at yesterday's meeting in Lagos. «We were asked to present some initiatives, in order to make citizens aware of a more regulated and more conscious use of consumption», he said, to the Sul Informação, António Pina, president of AMAL.

"On the other hand, we were also asked to reflect on where we can make a contribution," he added.

In the view of the mayor of Olhão, the measure “which will have the greatest practical consequences is the reduction of the rules of the gardens, which may even translate into the fact that some green spaces dry up”.


António Pina – Photo: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação


“The Ministry of the Environment will even make available a budget that can also be used for the reformulation of gardens, removing areas of great irrigation and species that need a lot of water, replacing them with others that need less water”, he revealed. .

Municipalities were also asked to try, “as much as possible, to use treated wastewater to clean garbage bins and streets, although we still do not have wastewater available for this purpose in all municipalities”.

On the table is also the closure of «sources that do not have closed circuits of water circulation, or even those, with a view to serving as an example».

“These are some of the possibilities. All this will be discussed and decided tomorrow», summarized António Pina.

In the session with the APA, water availability was also discussed and the guarantee that there is at least two years of guaranteed public supply, the threshold that determines «decisions to interdict and reduce multiple uses».

«In the case of the Barlavento Algarve, considering that human consumption is around 40 cubic hectometers (hm3), reaching 80, it is no longer available for other purposes. At the moment there are 92,5 hm3 [stored in the Barlavento dams], which means that there are 12,5 hmXNUMX for agricultural irrigation and other purposes, with the rest reserved for human consumption”, concluded António Pina.