Water capture project in Pomarão to supply Algarve in public consultation

Until April 29th

The project to capture water from the Guadiana River in Pomarão, in the municipality of Mértola, which is expected to contribute on average around 16 cubic hectometers annually to supply the Algarve, is under public consultation until April 29th.

According to information available on the Participa portal (www.participa.pt), consulted today by the Lusa agency, the project's Environmental Impact Assessment process, included in the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) with a planned investment of around 61,5, XNUMX million euros, entered the public consultation phase on Friday.

The work consists of capturing surface water in the estuarine area of ​​the Guadiana river, next to the village of Mesquita, upstream of Pomarão, in the municipality of Mértola, district of Beja, through a pipeline to the Odeleite reservoir, in Castro Marim, district of Faro, where the water collected will be returned.

«The project will strengthen the guarantee and increase the resilience of the Algarve's multi-municipal urban water supply system, given the expected and already felt effects of climate change. If there is no intervention, the current situation of exploitation of the Odeleite-Beliche system should worsen, worsening the effects of the drought in the Algarve region, with very significant impacts expected on the economy, the well-being of the population and the increase of pressure on water masses", reads the conclusions of the non-technical summary of the Environmental Impact Study (EIA).

The currently authorized global annual consumption of the Odeleite and Beliche reservoirs corresponds to “around 75 cubic hectometers (hm3), of which 45 hm3 are for urban supply”, indicates the document.

It is expected, according to the hydrological study carried out, «that Pomarão's contribution will be on average around 16 hm3, and could reach 21 hm3 under current hydrological conditions».

The operating regime of this solution envisages pumping water "only seven months a year, between October and April", stopping "in exceptionally dry months" or "when, in total, since the beginning of the hydrological year, an annual total of 30 hm3».

Three alternatives are presented for the routes of the pipeline, measuring approximately 37 to 41 kilometers, running through the municipalities of Mértola, Alcoutim and Castro Marim.

The main potential negative impacts of the project are, the document states, “minimizable to insignificant if applied” the approximately three dozen measures provided for in the EIA.

These impacts result from the abstraction of water in the Guadiana-WB3 water body, resulting in “affected ecological status in the water bodies of the Guadiana estuary; change in water quality in the water bodies of the Odeleite and Beliche reservoirs; alteration of habitats and biological communities; barrier effect and habitat fragmentation; dissemination of aquatic invasive alien species in water bodies».

Water capture in Pomarão is one of the measures foreseen in the Algarve Regional Water Efficiency Plan, for which 200 million euros are allocated from the PRR, in addition to the future desalination station, the production of water for reuse and the reduction of water losses in the urban sector.

The Algarve has been on alert due to drought since February 5th, and the Government has approved a set of measures to restrict consumption, namely a 15% reduction in the urban sector, including tourism, and a 25% reduction in agriculture.

In addition to these measures, there are others such as combating losses in supply networks, the use of treated water to irrigate green spaces, streets and golf courses or the suspension of the granting of titles for the use of water resources.

The Government has already admitted to increasing the level of restrictions, declaring a state of environmental emergency or calamity, if the measures now implemented are insufficient to address water scarcity in the region.


Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!