Government reduces water quota for agriculture and golf at Odeleite dam

After another meeting of the Permanent Commission for the Prevention, Monitoring and Accompaniment of the Effects of the Drought

Odeleite Dam – Photo: Flávio Costa | Sul Informação (File)

The Government decreed today, Thursday, a 20% reduction in the quota of water for agricultural use and for golf courses, at the Odeleite Dam, in Castro Marim, following the 14th meeting of the Permanent Commission for Prevention, Monitoring and Accompaniment of the Effects of Drought.

With regard to golf courses, this measure is aggravated if they have the capacity to reuse wastewater, with the limitation increasing to 50%.

Also during the month of June, a campaign will be launched in the Algarve dedicated to the moderation of water consumption, aimed at all citizens.

In addition to these measures focused on the Algarve, the Minister for the Environment announced the creation of a “task force” to review the titles for the use of water resources that were assigned and imposed a 15% reduction in water consumption in underground bodies.

At a press conference, the official revealed 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 Atmosphere (IPMA), Duarte Cordeiro said 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 also added that in May rainfall was 35% below normal and warned of "critical levels" of water in the soil, especially in the south of Portugal.

The forecasts, he warned, are that air temperatures will continue to be above average.

Regarding the capacity of the reservoirs, according to data from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) cited by the minister, the situation is better today than in the same period last year, when the reservoirs were at 65% of capacity, in contrast to with the 79% of now.

Exception, he said later, for some reservoirs in the south.

As for groundwater in the country, the levels “are very low”. And some areas of the country, namely on the Alentejo coast and in the Algarve, are in a critical situation, “and some of them worse than last year”, with reduced water capacity levels.

“The situation in the Algarve in particular is worse than last year, both in the western and eastern regions”, said Duarte Cordeiro.

The situation in Spain in terms of water reserves is worse than the Portuguese one, with 48% of capacity in the reservoirs, the minister also said, ensuring that the agreements with Spain in the field of water are being fulfilled.

The commission for monitoring the effects of the drought met today for the second time this year, bringing together the ministers of the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, and the minister of Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes.




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