The Minister of the Environment warned today that “there is no point in multiplying dams when there is no water”, pointing to the reuse of wastewater as the most immediate solution to guarantee greater water availability in the Algarve, which is in severe drought.

“The problem cannot be solved by building dams”, said João Pedro Matos Fernandes during the presentation of the Regional Water Efficiency Plan for the Algarve, in Faro.

He added in terms of funding for the next Community Support Framework, that the use of treated wastewater “will be right at the forefront of projects that may be financed”.

On the contrary, the minister said, in the “taxonomy of community financing” there is no “desalination or any dam”, but solutions “for the resilience of water supply”.

In this sense, João Pedro Matos Fernandes defends the reuse of treated wastewater for the irrigation of golf courses, which already happens in specific cases, in public green spaces or for street washing.

The Minister for the Environment and Climate Action said he believed that “it is only a few years before the majority of golf courses in the Algarve will be watered exclusively from waste water”.

In addition to the presentation of the plan, the session, which took place at the University of Algarve, included the signing of protocols with the 16 municipalities in the Algarve, for priority interventions in the water efficiency plan and a protocol between Águas do Algarve and Associação dos Campos of Golf.

The plan lists 57 measures, the implementation of which corresponds to an investment of 228 million euros, the majority of which are destined to the agriculture sector, in the amount of 79 million euros, although the urban component is the one that requires greater investment (122 million euros).

During the presentation of the Regional Water Efficiency Plan, potential solutions were pointed out to reinforce the water supply in the region, namely, the abstraction of water in the Guadiana River, upstream of the Pomarão, the desalination of sea water and the construction of a dam in ribeira da Foupana, in the eastern Algarve.