PAN/Algarve concerned about the way the desalination plant is being designed

Party reiterates «position against the implementation of the seawater desalination station in the municipality of Albufeira»

PAN/Algarve is concerned about the “way” in which the future Desalination Station “is being designed” and issued an “opinion of disagreement” during the public consultation period. 

According to the party, this «contrary position is not based on opposition to desalination itself, but rather on concerns related to the way in which the station is being designed».

In a previous opinion, presented to the Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF), the PAN proposed alternatives that it considers “more sustainable in terms of technology for future desalination plant in the region».

“These solutions included research into desalination mechanisms offshore (off the coast) through mechanical processes, and an analysis for the potential use of brine by-products as a mineral resource», says PAN.

«It is regrettable to note that the entities involved in this process, such as the Regional Coordination and Development Commission, the Portuguese Environment Agency and the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests, chose to completely ignore the constructive proposals we presented», criticized Saúl Rosa, member of the PAN Algarve political committee.

«Despite our efforts to raise awareness among these entities and promote a constructive dialogue, to debate environmental management ideas that anticipate the challenges of climate change in the region, suggestions to adopt more sustainable methods, such as the example of offshore desalination, were inexplicably left aside. We demand a more inclusive and attentive approach to environmental management, urging the responsible entities to reconsider their decision and to take seriously the concerns raised by PAN Algarve and environmental associations. Therefore, we reiterate our position against this project, through this public consultation and we will await responses», added Saúl Rosa.

The party indicates that, in addition to this position, it will continue to defend more sustainable measures in the region, regarding the management of water resources and warns that “throwing money at problems” does not make them disappear.

According to PAN, «the most worrying points highlighted in the document sent to public consultation refer to the use of disinfectants, such as Sodium Hydrochloride, in desalination towers. Furthermore, the discharge of waste into the brine and dirty water reservoir, with direct connection to the sea, and the lack of reference to the mitigation of impacts generated by the station's effluents were identified as critical points».

The opinion, which resulted from the analysis of the documentation exposed for public consultation, «also warns of emergency discharges from reservoirs of treated, remineralized water, and dirty water from washing calcite filters in the Quarteira river».

“Concern over by-products, including sludge, brine and effluent resulting from chemical washing of reverse osmosis membranes, is highlighted as a factor of high concern. In addition to these points, the party draws attention to the fact that, according to the non-technical opinion in the public consultation, of the 129 faunal species, 19 are threatened, reinforcing the need for environmental protection», he concludes.