During a ceremony in São Pedro do Sul, Pimenta Machado said that a new law that will simplify the use of these waters is “under public discussion”.

Pimenta Machado, who was in São Pedro do Sul on 7 September to sign a protocol with the municipality regarding emergency interventions to minimise the impacts of the severe drought in that county, argued that it is necessary to "find new sources of water".

"It is fundamental to reuse the waters of the water treatment plants for non-potable uses. Does it make sense to wash rubbish bins with the water we drink?", he considered.

With an additional treatment he added that these waters can be used for non-potable uses, such as "washing rubbish bins, washing streets, watering gardens and golf courses”.

"We really want to take this across the country. There is a great opportunity here to have more water and save natural waters," he stressed.

According to the APA vice-president, golf courses in the Algarve and the Parque das Nações in Lisbon are already being irrigated with this water, and there are more initiatives in the works.

In the Viseu district, the municipality of Nelas is reusing treated wastewater to supply industries in the municipality.

The Mayor of Viseu, Fernando Ruas, also said he had already started a process to reuse the wastewater treated at the Viseu Sul WWTP to irrigate public green spaces.

"We're talking about treated water, in a controlled and appropriate manner, in perfect condition to be used again for other necessary purposes, namely the irrigation of public spaces. This way, we are not only providing alternative solutions in this period of drought, but also enhancing greater sustainability of the system," said Fernando Ruas.