PCP and the increase in water: «it is unacceptable to make people pay»

Regarding connections between hydrological systems in different areas of the country, «this solution should be considered»

The PCP considers it «unacceptable that the populations of the Algarve are forced to pay for what has always been lacking in public investment», in reaction to the increase in the price of water, decided this Friday, February 2nd, by the municipalities. 

For the PCP, the consequences of the current drought situation and lack of water in the Algarve are «a reality that could have been mitigated if there had been no inaction by successive PS and PSD/CDS governments».

«While it is not the ability of those who govern to control or make rain, the implementation of public investments and the carrying out of works is, in fact, the responsibility of the political power that makes decisions and can execute them. In recent years, the PCP has drawn attention more than once to the fact that the various plans presented do not guarantee the long-term resolution of the problems identified long ago. It was necessary to act, recover time and take measures with real impact for the future», they add.

Furthermore, the increases affect “those who can least afford the prices to be paid, which are small consumers, since those with more economic power can simply pay and continue consuming. It is an unfair measure that adds problems to those who already have many difficulties in coping with the brutal increase in the cost of living, such as in food, essential services or housing, among others».

In a note sent to the press, the communists argue that what is necessary "immediately" is the strengthening of awareness among residents and tourists about the situation the region is going through, as well as the imposition of standards in the tourism sector, which includes reduction for survival irrigation of gardens and lawns or their conversion through the planting of resilient species adapted to the local climate;

Added to this is the application to the public sector of measures to encourage the conversion of green spaces, planting species with low water consumption, the implementation of measures to maintain aquifer protection areas, namely with the limitation of licensing of more photovoltaic plants and prohibited installation in aquifer recharge areas, and the prohibition of the operation of ornamental fountains that do not operate in a closed circuit.

Other measures include “constant monitoring and study of the amount of water available in the region, surface and underground – aquifers and their recharge needs, which implies strengthening public means of monitoring, inspecting and planning water resources », the «authorization for the construction of ponds for animal supply and firefighting» and guarantees to «all farmers and livestock producers water for the survival of crops and so that productive potential is not lost».

At the same time, communists argue that we must “guarantee an agricultural policy that defends small and medium-sized agriculture, supporting investments for greater efficiency in the use of water” and implement, “in the public control network”, the “reduction of losses , managing flows and pressures, installing advanced technological devices».

The study of the construction of dams (e.g. in Ribeira de Monchique or on the Vascão River), the construction of the Foupana dam, with its connection to Odeleite-Beliche and the capture of water in Pomarão are also defended by the PCP.

In relation to the desalination plant, the communists consider that the “solution cannot be totally rejected, but its relationship of high operating costs, with the low volume of water made available, the resulting environmental impacts and, not least important, the model option private or public management, these are variants that always need to be well considered, because, ultimately, they will determine the usefulness of the project».

Regarding connections between hydrological systems in different areas of the country, «this solution should be considered, as the connection of the Alentejo and Algarve dams, to Barlavento between Santa Clara and Bravura, was thought of for a long time (later the possibility of Odelouca appears) and Sotavento between Alqueva and Odeleite. However, it is necessary to move forward with all connection works in Baixo Alentejo. It is necessary to assess whether the capture in Pomarão fits into this solution», concludes the statement.