February rain is far from resolving water shortages in the Algarve

The situation continues to be very worrying

Odeleite Dam – Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

The February rains allowed the Algarve dams to accumulate, since the beginning of February, 15,3 cubic hectometers (hm3) of water, a value that, despite being significant, is far from resolving or making water scarcity less worrying. in the region.

«Despite what rained, which in reality was very little, today we have 52 hectometers less than in the same period last year», he revealed to Sul Informação Pedro Coelho, regional director of the Portuguese Environment Agency. As a term of comparison, the Algarve's water needs for public supply alone (urban consumption, not counting the agricultural and industrial sectors and tourism) are around 80 hm3 per year.

«Our reservoirs are now at 34% of their capacity, compared to 45% last year. Hence the contingency plan, hence the restrictions on the use of water that we have been imposing», illustrated Pedro Coelho.

However, the same person in charge warned, «the effort must come from everyone, otherwise the poor relation will always be agriculture and golf», to which it is easier to impose restrictions.

Regarding the current situation of the Algarve dams and the evolution of stored volumes, contrary to what has been the most recent trend, it was the Arade Hydrographic Basin that recharged the most, with the rain that fell since the beginning of the month, in the region Algarve.

In the group of three dams that make up this basin, the increase was 8,4 hm3, reveal the most recent data from the National Water Resources Information System.

In Odelouca, the largest dam in the Algarve, the volume of water stored increased from 45.2 to 50,2 hm3. In percentage terms, this reservoir now has 32% of its total capacity, compared to 28,8% at the end of January.

Still in the Arade Hydrographic Basin, the other two dams are also fuller. In percentage terms, it was Fennel that increased the most, from 33,3% (15,9 hm3) to 40% (18,9 hm3), in 19 days. In the Arade reservoir, the increase in stored water was much smaller – from 15,3 to 16% and from 4,4 to 4,6 hm3.

In Sotavento, the two dams are also more composed, with emphasis on Odeleite, which now stores 55,1 hm3 (at the end of January, it was 45,2 hm3). In percentage terms, the increase went from 39% to 42%.

At the Beliche dam, the volume stored increased from 15,4 hm3 (32,2%) to 16,9 hm3 (16.9%).

After all, there is now another 6 hm3 of water stored in these two reservoirs.

Finally, in the Bravura dam, the only one in the Ribeiras do Barlavento Hydrographic Basin, the volume stored increased from 3,3 hm3 (9,4%) to 4,2 (12%) – that is, 0,9 more hm3 in 19 days, a tiny amount of water.

Even with this reinforcement, the water available in the Algarve, at this moment, is not expected to be enough to guarantee supply until the end of the year.


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