The Barlavento Algarvio basin, corresponding to the Bravura dam, in Lagos, with 12,7%, at the end of May had the lowest amount of water stored in the whole country, as has been the case for over a year.
The average storage for the month of May in that Algarve reservoir is usually 74,3%, according to data from the National Water Resources Information System (SNIRH).
In the south of the country, there are still two other basins with very low levels: Mira (34,9%) and Arade (37,1%).
According to SNIRH, the volume of stored water dropped at the end of May in 10 river basins and rose in two, compared to the previous month.
Of the 58 monitored reservoirs – each hydrographic basin can correspond to more than one reservoir – 30 had water availability greater than 80% of the total volume and seven less than 40%.
Yesterday, Thursday, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action said that mainland Portugal had, at the end of May, 36% of the territory in severe or extreme drought, focusing especially on the south of the country.
Citing data from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), Duarte Cordeiro specified that, on May 30, 28% of the territory was in severe drought and 8% in extreme drought, especially affecting the areas of the Tagus valley and south of the country.
The minister, who was speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the commission to monitor the effects of the drought, added that last month rainfall was 35% below normal, and warned of "critical levels" of water in the soil, especially in the south of Portugal.
Regarding the capacity of the reservoirs, according to data from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) cited by the minister, the situation is better than in the same period last year, when the reservoirs were at 65% of capacity, in contrast to the 79% of now.
Exception, he said later, for some reservoirs in the south.
Thus, according to SNIRH data available today, with less water availability, at the end of May, the basins of the Barlavento Algarve (12,7%), Mira (34,9%) and Arade (37,1 %).
The Lima (85,4%), Mondego (84,4%), Tejo (84,2%), Ave (82,3%), Cávado (81,6%), Douro (81,5% ), Guadiana (78,5%), Oeste (73,2%) and Oeste (56,7%) had the highest levels.
The May 2023 storages by river basin are higher than the storage averages for this month (1990/91 to 2021/22), except for the Mondego, Sado, Guadiana, Mira, Ribeiras do Algarve and Arade basins.