The work, which is expected to be completed in 2026, is part of a package of water efficiency measures worth €200 million that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action prepared within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) to respond to the situation of water scarcity and drought that plagues the region.

Duarte Cordeiro recalled that the Algarve will inaugurate the first desalination plant in mainland Portugal that will serve as a complement to the current Multimunicipal Water Supply System for human consumption in the region.

While the plant has not yet even left the drawing board, plans are already in place to increase its capacity.

“We took the decision to increase the capacity [of the desalination plant in the Algarve] taking into account the discussions that we have had in the region”, said the minister.

In addition, the Government intends to formalise a Pact for Water between all the actors in the Algarve region — between the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development, associations of municipalities in the Algarve, and associations of irrigators and users — as long as it helps to “properly manage these additional availabilities that we are generating”, explained the minister.

The Government will be available to increase investment capacity in efficiency, reuse of wastewater, and supply in the Algarve region, said Duarte Cordeiro if it turns out that “the additional water availability that we will add with this investment, due to climate change, does not respond satisfactorily to the various sectors”.

“This has to be made clear so that the water we have is not used improperly”, he said.

It will be in the Algarve that mainland Portugal will inaugurate the first desalination plant. Expected to be completed in March 2026, the work, valued at €45 million, is currently in the development phase before being put out to tender.