Government invests 5 million to capture dead volume from the Odelouca dam

Duarte Cordeiro, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, considered that the water situation in the Algarve «is worse than last year»

Odelouca Dam – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

The Government will invest 5 million euros, from the Environmental Fund, to increase, by 25 cubic hectometers, the capacity of the Odelouca dam, in Silves, capturing dead volume and increasing the available water. The announcement was made this Friday, August 25, by the Minister of the Environment Duarte Cordeiro. 

At the press conference after the meeting of the Permanent Commission for the Prevention, Monitoring and Accompaniment of the Effects of the Drought, the government official explained that this is a dam «whose capacity does not correspond to the volume available».

The objective is to have the work ready in a year's time, the main objective being to increase the «efficiency of the use of the Algarve's reservoirs».

In statements to the Sul Informação, António Eusébio, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company Águas do Algarve, explained that this work will serve to take advantage of the dead volume of the dam – below the gravitational level – a little like what was done in Odeleite.

«It will allow to increase the capacity of raising the water level below the gravitational level», summarized the official.

What will be built will be an «elevation system that allows the removal of that volume that is below the gravitational level», added António Eusébio.

At yesterday's press conference, Duarte Cordeiro, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, considered that the water situation in the Algarve "is worse than last year, both in the Barlavento and Sotavento areas".


Duarte Cordeiro – Photo: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


Even so, the minister praised the "agricultural sector" in the region, since the savings measures had an "effect", essentially due to the actions "adopted" in agriculture.

There was a reduction in usage of «14%», despite the target being 20%. Regarding the golf sector, the minister highlighted the fact that there are already courses using recycled water for irrigation, as is the case of Castro Marim Golf.

Duarte Cordeiro also announced that it will move forward with greater inspection in the Querença-Silves aquifer (after this has already happened in the Almádena-Odiáxere), to monitor abstraction and supervise the misuse of boreholes.

Moreover, after yesterday's meeting, the Government realized that, considering the entire national territory, there are 48% in a situation of severe to extreme drought – last year, that was the totality.

However, proving that statistical averages can be deceiving, in the Algarve and Alentejo the situation is now more serious than a year ago.

In the coming weeks, some precipitation is expected that «will help the country», but that does not mean that we will no longer be in drought. Even because this rain, if it falls, should not be in the south of the country.


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