Environment minister Duarte Cordeiro explained that the new measures, in addition to reducing consumption in tourist resorts in the Algarve, include, for Trás-os-Montes, work to connect the Alto Rabagão system to the of Arcossó and the extension of the Pinhão to the Vila Chã water supply system.
Duarte Cordeiro said that of the 31 multipurpose reservoirs in critical situation that are under surveillance, 10 have kept their volume stored and only two have reduced storage by more than 5% since the last meeting, on June 21.
The Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, also said that in relation to last month the situation did not change in the 44 hydro-agricultural reservoirs: 37 of them ensure the irrigation campaign and seven have limitations.
Maria do Céu Antunes said that a notice of 24.5 million euros was opened so that farmers can apply to install precision systems and have more efficient use of water.
“By the end of the month, we will provide financial resources of around 30 million euros to improve water efficiency in the hydro-agricultural exploitation of Mira, with the construction of a new pumping station and the rehabilitation of the entire main channel, which includes the placement of photovoltaic systems to avoid evapotranspiration and allow the system to be sustainable”, said the minister.
Maria do Céu Antunes stressed that Portugal is experiencing one of the worst droughts in the last 100 years, which jeopardizes agricultural production, and welcomed the fact that today there are contingency plans for all hydro-agricultural reservoirs and a more efficient irrigation system with interconnections between reservoirs.
Regarding the use of treated wastewater, the minister said that in Alqueva the irrigation of pomegranate trees with this water is being studied, and that the use of this water is also being studied in Loures and Alvor. There are also experiences of producing rice with drip irrigation, which reduces the use of water by 50%, said the minister.
The treated wastewater, said the Minister of the Environment, among other applications can be used to fight fires and also for energy production.
Algarve golf courses
Regarding the reduction of water consumption in Algarve tourism, the minister explained that there was a meeting between the Portuguese Environment Agency and a group of tourist enterprises in the Algarve, in which a limitation of the use of water was negotiated, namely for green spaces and on golf courses.
Duarte Cordeiro emphasized the need for the Portuguese to save water, noting that this is the fifth year with below-average rainfall, but assured that there is no restriction on water for human consumption.