“We are going to get harsher with all who don’t understand that they have to have a responsible attitude in a particularly complicated moment,” Duarte Cordeiro told journalists in Lagos.

The politician was speaking during a visit to an agricultural venture in Lagos and at the monitoring point of the piezometric network (monitoring of aquifer water levels) for the Almádena/Odiáxere aquifer, managed by the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA).

According to the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, the water consumption in the Algarve is currently “five cubic hectometres lower than last year,” but “more is needed to be done” to incentivise saving in urban consumption.

To Duarte Cordeiro, beyond the agricultural establishments and the municipalities “offering an example of reducing the volume of water irrigating public parks,” there needs to be “more done in the point of view of incentivising the urban population to save water.”

“We have to understand where it [the incentive] isn’t being met and we have to proceed with the structural investments planned in the Resilience and Recovery Plan (PRR),” he stated.

The holder of the Ministry of Environment justified the visit to that Lagos farm with the claim that irregularities were being reported in the water consumption and reports.

“A confiscation was made, knowing the installations consume two/thirds of this aquifer’s water volume, and in this case, the irregularities came from not reporting water volume they take from it.”

Duarte Cordeiro added that “a penalty was applied onto the landowner,” who had “installed a counter which counts the water consumption in the 20-acre vineyards every hour.”

The minister said that moving to the Algarve, for which he’s accompanied by his secretary of State of Environment, Hugo Putin, was in order to “observe the supervision work on the underground water masses, in this case the Almádena/Odiáxere aquifer, which is being developed” by the APA.

“During this work, there were 138 infractions detected, and from those there will in the end be adaptations on the part of agricultural explorations,” he underlined.

In Duarte Cordeiro’s opinion, the monitoring and surveillance of the underground water network is important in order to know what resources exist “for the management of this territory, in a critical moment from the perspective of water resource management.”