Teresa Fernandes, from Águas do Algarve, the company that manages the Algarve’s multi-municipal water supply systems, said “the rainfall has not yet been reflected in the volume of water stored in the region’s dams, which remain at levels below the desirable level for this time of the hydrological year”.

That officially indicated that the volumes of water stored in the Odeleite and Beliche dams, in the eastern Algarve, Odelouca and Bravura, in the western Algarve, “did not change” in relation to data recorded in the month of February.

“The rain that fell practically did not affect the storage levels, but it contributed to minimising the impact of the drought on agricultural fields, relieving the pressure on the withdrawal of water from the dams for the irrigation of most crops”.

The Algarve dams of Odeleite and Beliche, both in the east of the Algarve, and those of Odelouca and Bravura, to the west, maintain levels below 50% of their useful storage volumes, with Bravura, in the municipality of Lagos, the one with the most worrying situation, at only 14.5% of its usable capacity.

Insufficient rain

Teresa Fernandes stressed that the amount of rain that has fallen in the region “until now, has been insufficient” to alleviate the extreme drought that the region faces, a situation that can only be alleviated if it continues to rain next month.

“Our expectation is that the rainfall will continue through the month of April, in order to increase the storage volumes of the Algarve dams”, she said.

To face the drought situation, the spokeswoman for Águas do Algarve reiterated the importance of “raising awareness of the need to save water”.

“Water is a resource that must be used responsibly, at a time when water scarcity is constantly being felt due to climate change”, she noted.