Partners of “Water Circularity: from All and for All” visited Loulé

Technical visit to Jardim das Comunidades and Infraquinta

The CAPT 2 network – Circularity of Water: from All and for All carried out a technical visit to the municipality of Loulé, having visited Jardim das Comunidades, in Almancil, and Infraquinta.

Loulé received the partners Águeda, Mértola, Oeiras, Oliveira de Frades, Ponte de Sor and Guimarães, via the Landscape Laboratory.

«We are here with a common purpose: to take care of the greatest natural asset we have, which is water. We are all aware of the difficulties linked to water consumption. Each one, in their specificities, has different problems and constraints but that is the wealth of these partnerships, that we can exchange experiences and understand what measures are being implemented in some places but in others would not make sense and vice versa», said the councilor. Carlos Carmo in the welcome session.

After a morning marked by a discussion on the more technical matters of the project and the current situation in each of the network's territories, in the afternoon the partners went out into the field to see two examples of good practices in this territory up close.

At Jardim das Comunidades, in Almancil, they were received by Manuela Moreira da Silva, a professor and researcher at the University of Algarve, who has been leading a project that aims to make this green public space a national reference in terms of sustainability of natural resources.

«This garden will be increasingly prepared to respond to people's needs. And for that we have to incorporate scientific knowledge into its operation and use the technology we have available. For this we have to ensure that we manage this space using the least amount of water possible, the least amount of energy and maximizing its ability to sequester carbon and atmospheric pollutants», he stressed.

In Quinta do Lago, the delegation was received by Pedro Pimpão, chairman of the Board of Directors of the municipal company Infraquinta, an entity that, according to the Loulé City Council, has been responsible for a set of good practices that are valued and recognized in Portugal in terms of water efficiency and water reuse.

“The reuse of water is, for us, one of the main areas of intervention. We have a very strong investment to go from 30% irrigation of green spaces through water reuse to 81%. In terms of water quality, for the sixth consecutive year, we received a distinction from ERSAR, the management entity in the fight against water losses, reaching a record value below 3%”, he said.

At the end of the visit, the local coordinator of the project, Lídia Terra, made a positive assessment of this meeting and the appreciation by the partners.

“Everyone told me that they were very pleased with what they saw! But for us it has also been an immense gain to participate in this type of project as it enhances our work and we learn a lot from the experience of other municipalities”, she said.

At a time when Loulé has already seen the Municipal Climate Action Plan approved, this official believes that it will be easier to create a Local Integrated Action Plan in the CAPT 2 network.

«Loulé has a well-aligned work strategically. At the moment, he already has actions in progress and has defined goals for what he wants in the future, and that could be the difference. This process of working in a network turns out to be a validation with other partners in the field and projects on which we are already working, strengthening and deepening them», he added.