"In general, the (climatic) models confirm a reduction in precipitation with a consistent increase in average temperatures, resulting in greater evapotranspiration", says Associação Natureza Portugal, national representative of the international organization World Wide Fund for Nature (ANP / WWF).
The result of this, with a tendency to worsen by 2050, will be “less water in the soil, in rivers and aquifers”.
Possible scenarios stem from an increase in temperature in the 20th century and a tendency to reduce rainfall, especially further south.
"However, given the high variability in precipitation, there is no clear trend for the 21st century", points out the report.
Even without changes in the demands of human consumption, plants and animals will find it more difficult to satisfy all their water needs. For humans, it will be a challenge to have all the water available to maintain the current lifestyle”, says the organization.
The ANP / WWF considers it essential that those who consume more water pay more for it, arguing that the Portuguese Government should apply progressive tariffs for the exploration of water from boreholes on the southern Algarve coast and that the Spanish executive should do the same in the aquifers fed by the Guadiana and Doñana rivers.
Across the peninsula, the report argues that "the relationship with water be changed", especially by "the productive sectors that consume more, mainly for agricultural use".
The ANP / WWF mentioned the increase in the use of resources in Portugal, such as intensive irrigation from the Alqueva dam, and in Spain, in Campo de Cartagena, as evidence of the “probable collapse of biodiversity and the reduction of safety for nature and for people”.
For biodiversity, the scenario is already of “evident crisis”, with a decline of 84 percent in freshwater species between 1970 and 2016.
In the particular case of the Iberian Peninsula, 52 percent of the species are endangered, says the report.