Algarve golf course irrigated with recycled water from WWTP

Hugo Pires, Secretary of State for the Environment, attended the signing of the contract between Águas do Algarve and Castro Marim Golf & Country Club

Castro Marim Golfe & Country Club will start watering its courses with recycled water. The project will make it possible to replace the annual use of around 450 cubic meters of surface water by Water for Reuse (ApR), that is, from a WWTP.

The contract between “Águas do Algarve” and Castro Marim Golfe & Country Club was signed on the morning of Monday, July 3rd.

This agreement follows the conclusion of the first phase of the project “Infrastructures for Elevation and Adduction of ApR – Water for Reuse of the Vila Real de Santo António WWTP”.

The contract involved the installation of a chlorination disinfection system and the construction of a pumping station for ApR and the connecting section to the conduit connecting two delivery points, namely Castro Marim Golfe and Quinta do Vale Golf Courses.

Representing an investment of 1,5 million euros, financed by POSEUR, the project makes it possible to replace the annual use of around one million cubic meters of surface water with ApR, leaving the WWTP with installed capacity to provide other points of delivery, whether golf courses or agricultural irrigation and also for urban uses, such as washing streets and watering public green spaces.

For David Martins, managing director of Algarvelux, which manages Castro Marim Golfe, this project is a «joy» for the hotel unit.

«It is a commitment to the future because we are all aware of the scarcity of water. Signing a contract in which we can use an alternative source of water, other than surface or rainwater, is a guarantee of the future», he told journalists.



Of the average consumption, which is around 450 thousand cubic meters, «half, in the worst case scenario», will be done with this recycled water. According to David Martins, “some residual water” will still be used.

«With this investment, the price of water will be more expensive, but we must be aware that it is a scarce resource and it is preferable to pay a little more», stressed the director of Castro Marim Golfe.

Moreover, the use of waste water for irrigation, which is also done in the Algarve, on the São Lourenço (Almancil) and Salgados (Albufeira) golf courses, is already a practice elsewhere in the world.

«In the United States, in Europe these solutions are already used. Now it is a matter of information and training for our greenkeepers. Our customers, who generally have environmental concerns, are the first to realize that what we are doing is taking a step forward», said David Martins.

The moment was attended by Hugo Pires, Secretary of State for the Environment, who welcomed the initiative by Águas do Algarve and Castro Marim Golfe & Country Club.

«It makes no sense to wash the streets or water the gardens with the water we brush our teeth with. We are working for this region to continue to develop, for it to have jobs, and for that, there is one thing it needs: water», he told journalists.

The Secretary of State was also confident that this example will be replicated by other golf courses in the Algarve, often identified as major consumers of water.



“I am hopeful that this example will be replicated. The golf and hospitality industry is very aware and available to invest in this sector of water for reuse», he considered.

According to Águas do Algarve, with regard to the production of water for reuse in the Algarve, an investment of 23 million euros is foreseen until 2025.

An increase is estimated from 1,4 to 8 million cubic meters/year, 71% of which will be used by golf courses.

For António Eusébio, president of Águas do Algarve, «the search for new sources, such as ApR production and desalination, is a priority to face the impacts of climate change in the Algarve, which translates into less water in dams and aquifers».

In addition to the signed contract, the ceremony also served to launch a new awareness campaign, called "Water is life - don't waste it" which brings together the Águas de Portugal Group (AdP), the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and the Regulatory Entity of Water and Waste Services (ERSAR), with funding from the Environmental Fund of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action.

The campaign started in the Algarve, a territory that is currently the most affected by the drought and which in the summer almost doubles its population, promoted by Águas do Algarve, AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, CCDR Algarve and the Algarve Tourism Board .

It also counts on the involvement of different hotel and restaurant associations in the Algarve that combine efforts to appeal to residents and national and foreign tourists not to waste water.

In the end, after the launch of the campaign in Castro Marim… everyone took a bucket home as a souvenir.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação



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