Ministries call for reduced water consumption

in News · 21-11-2019 16:00:00 · 0 Comments

The Ministries of Environment and Agriculture has argued that less water needs to be spent in the Algarve's municipalities, agriculture and tourism to cope with a "structural drought" that will not disappear over time.

Speaking at a press conference following a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Drought, Environment and Climate Action Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes said that the situation is "better today than in the same period of 2017, but it is a structural problem" that is felt more clearly south of the Tagus river.

For this reason, the two tutelages will start from 30 November to meet with representatives of the sectors that represent most of the water consumption: municipalities, agriculture and tourism sector of the Algarve, in focus because of the consumption of water to keep the golf courses.

The Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Albuquerque, stressed that "severe drought is not conjunctural" and that concrete measures are required to curb water consumption, adapting crops to availability.

The official considered that Portugal is better prepared to recognize and cope with drought than in 2017, but that it does not "bode well" forthe coming years in water availability, which is especially relevant for agriculture, which consumes "74 percent" of the water used in Portugal.

Matos Fernandes said that it is necessary to "change the profile of consumption in Portugal, in dialogue with everyone", because it is raining less and we can no longer have better years to compensate for the worst, because the scarcity remains.

The minister indicated that new licenses for water abstraction are already suspended in the south of the country and that the use and wastewater treated in urban irrigation and washing will expand.

"Don't be fooled by the rain that has fallen in recent hours and will continue to fall," he warned.


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