Sotavento Irrigating Association willing to pay for the project and EIA for the Foupana Dam

Costs to be assumed «in sharing with the State or with the company Águas do Algarve»

Bridge on the Foupana stream – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

The Association of Beneficiaries of the Sotavento do Algarve Irrigation Plan «is willing to start now and assume the costs of the project and the Environmental Impact Study» of the Foupana Dam.

This assumption of costs will be made "in sharing with the State or with the company Águas do Algarve", announced today that entity, chaired by José Macário Correia, current farmer, former Secretary of State for the Environment and former mayor of Tavira and Faro.

In a statement, the Association of Regantes do Sotavento states that it does not want to "feel the guilt of doing nothing and having a bad conscience in the face of indecision".

The Irrigants add that the Foupana basin has required «a long time» a dam, «with more capacity than Odeleite and next to it. It would be easy to reinforce all Sotavento and Central Algarve with Foupana for the needs of the next quarter of a century».

«What would be normal would be to be already doing the project, to have the dam in 10 years», they underline. Now, in the opinion of that Association, «no one from the State authorities is doing anything about it».

The Regantes do Sotavento recall, in their statement, that «over the last 40 years, 4 large dams have been built in the Algarve»: Beliche in 1986, Funcho in 1993, Odeleite in 1997 and Odelouca in 2009.

“But for almost 15 years nothing has been decided about storing water for public health and for the development of the regional economy”.

«At the beginning of the 80s of the last century, the Algarve had a severe drought and there was no consistent solution for supplying water to urban networks, except for holes that were drying up and salting», they recall.

After the inauguration of these four new dams, which joined the Arade (1955) and Bravura (1958), «the region was safeguarded in terms of urban, tourist and agricultural consumption».

However, adds the Associação de Regantes do Sotavento, «after 15 years, the population has grown, so has tourism, irrigated agriculture has prospered and the dry years have touched us in the last half dozen years».

But «decisions to store more water: none».

Regarding the announced work to install a conduit that connects the Guadiana river, in Pomarão, to the Odeleite dam, which is even one of the investments foreseen in the Water Efficiency Plan of the Algarve, the Irrigants say that, «sure about its execution, There is not. It is known that the matter is not resolved».

For all these reasons, the Association states that “we cannot resign ourselves to crossing our arms. Foupana is urgent”.

«We want Foupana, the economy of the Algarve needs it and it cannot be postponed any longer», they conclude.


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