In order to save as much water as possible, everyone needs to do their part. According to DECO, this may include changing routines, adjusting consumption and adopting behaviours that mitigate the impact of the water shortage we are facing.

In reality, the situation is very worrying. Data released by Águas do Algarve show that in Portugal, about 3,100 million m3 of water are wasted every year, which corresponds to 41 percent of total water demand. DECO has therefore put forward several suggestions that can help any consumer save water - a little bit every day can make a big difference on the planet.

In the bathroom

An immersion bath can take an average of 150 litres of water. For this reason, DECO advises consumers to take a quick 5-minute shower to reduce water consumption by 90 litres!

Additionally, with each flush, consumers can use up to 15 litres of water. So, "if you don't have a dual flush on your toilet, put a 1.5 litre bottle filled with sand inside the water tank. By doing so, you can reduce the flush to eight litres. You can also adjust the plastic screw that controls the float. You will save up to 4 litres per full flush".

Turn taps off

Everyone knows that you should turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, but do you know exactly how much water can be saved with such a simple behaviour? "Per minute, you can save up to 12 litres of water," DECO said. In addition, they advise consumers to use flow reducers on their taps.

Another important thing is to keep your taps fixed. "A dripping tap every five seconds in a day consumes 30 litres of water, after a week it ends up being 210 litres. Furthermore, please turn off taps tightly and keep household plumbing in good condition," they added.

In the kitchen

DECO recommends that all consumers only use dishwashers and washing machines when they are full, and that they don't use pre-wash cycles and "take advantage of the eco-friendly programmes that save around 20 percent in water”.

If you prefer to wash your dishes the traditional way, please do not leave the water running while washing the dishes by hand. Fill a sink with clean water to remove detergent from the washed dishes. Then, you can always reuse water for your irrigation and reduce water waste.


In fact, if you have plants that need water, the best way is to water them at the cooler hours, especially in the evening, to avoid evaporation losses. “By using a hose you can use up to 18 litres of water per minute. In these times, use a bucket if possible and, in the future, try to install a drip irrigation system”, DECO said.

“Reduce, or even avoid, car washes now, which can consume up to 560 litres of water. If really necessary, using a bucket and sponge will only use about 50 litres of water”, they added.

Overview of the situation in the Algarve

From the most environmentally aware people to those most disconnected from what's happening, the situation in the Algarve is worrying everyone. To understand a little more how people can help, DECO spoke with Teresa Fernandes, who is responsible for Communication at the company Águas do Algarve.

With official data showing that there is a daily waste of (approximately) 515 million litres of water in Portugal just in the supply network, "these data show that there is still a long way to go to make the country more efficient in managing its water", DECO stated.

Teresa Fernandes, who has been working for several years on water waste, said: "We know that both droughts and water scarcity have major impacts on natural resources worldwide, such as negative side effects on biodiversity, water quality and fire risks”. Furthermore, “our use of water must not compromise the needs of natural ecosystems".

“It is certain that each individual can, and should, keep a proactive attitude in protecting water resources, preserving water as much as possible. Especially in times of drought, such as the current one, it is key to reduce consumption to what is crucial in order to guarantee access for all to this resource which is essential to life”, she added.

DECO is calling on everyone to join together and fight against water wastage to save water resources in Portugal. If you want to be part of DECO's campaign, please send an e-mail to, call 21 371 02 00, or WhatsApp +351 966 449 110.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins