State of Emergency of Tagus flow is outdated

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 14-12-2019 16:00:00 · 0 Comments

The Minister of Environment and Climate Action said the emergency in the Tagus flow "is outdated" and said that the Spanish Government has promised to resolve the near-emptying of the Cedillo dam by 15 December.

Speaking to TSF radio, João Pedro Matos Fernandes said that there was a meeting between Portugal and Spain on the subject.

"The meeting was made - not by me, but by our ambassador in Madrid – and Spain, at the request that the Portuguese Government made, subscribed by me, answered yes and pledged the date of 15 December to be regularized.” says the ruler.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes said that the "emergency" in the Tagus flow "is outdated" and said that "he will have the opportunity to talk about it with the minister of the Spanish Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, on Wednesday, 4 December, in the Council of Ministers, in Brussels.

The minister clarified in statements to TSF that a direct meeting with the Spanish minister of the environment "is no longer urgent, because the situation is outdated".

The official also stressed that he is working with the municipalities affected by the Cedillo dam (Castelo Branco and Vila Velha de Ródão) so that the damage caused to the local structures is "quickly restored or financed by the Portuguese Environment Agency".

Spain's Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera acknowledged last week that there was “a problem of chain dams” affecting the Tagus river flow, but said Madrid “never failed” the agreements with Portugal.

“Our problem is that we have to secure a minimum quota [in the Cedillo reservoir], because below that quota [water supply] is not guaranteed to Cáceres [Spanish town about 90 kilometres from the Portuguese border], said Teresa Ribera to Lusa agency in Madrid.

The acting minister added that Spain is "sending and releasing water" from Cedillo according to "peaks" it is receiving upstream, but said she was "confident" that "it will stabilize in the short term."

The regularisation of the flow that comes to Portugal, the main problem pointed out by the Lisbon Government, “depends on the water that comes from higher up,” said Teresa Ribera.

“Cedillo's main problem is that it is associated with supplying Cáceres. This is a critical point that we have to see how it is resolved,” concluded the Spanish Ecological Transition minister, who said she had “a friendly and frequent relationship and conversation with the Portuguese minister”.

The Portuguese Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, reaffirmed a few weeks ago in Ílhavo (Aveiro) the need to “deepen the Albufeira Convention”, which regulates water transfers from Spain to Portugal, so that there is greater regularity in the flow of the Tagus, while ruling out the possibility of the country obtaining a higher flow from Spain.

Matos Fernandes warned that negotiating the flow of the Tagus is an “extraordinarily difficult” task, adding that “Spain argues that if there is greater irregularity in the rain, compliance with the flow rates provided for in the Convention should be made even more irregular.

The minister then criticized the way in which Spain complied with this agreement in the last hydrological year, with “the emptying of the Cedillo reservoir without compensation from upstream reservoirs, namely Alcántara and Valdecañas”, hoping that this will not be repeated.


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