More than 80% of continental Portugal was in severe drought in September, according to the IPMA which characterized that month as “extremely hot”.
According to the IPMA, in September there was an increase in the area in severe and extreme drought conditions. On 30th September, 81% of the territory was in severe drought, 7.4% in extreme drought, 10.7% in moderate drought and 0.8% in weak drought.
At the end of August, 58.9% of the territory was in severe drought and 0.7% in extreme drought.
The IPMA classifies the dry weather index in nine classes, ranging from “extreme rain” to “extreme drought”.
The IPMA explains that the “conjugation of much lower than normal rainfall and temperature far above normal, in particular the maximum, resulted in the occurrence of high evapotranspiration values and significant values of soil moisture deficits”.
In the document, the institute notes that on 30 September it was found that in most of the interior and southern regions of Portugal mainland water values were less than 20%.
For the period October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 the total accumulated precipitation was 621.8 millimeters (70% of normal), being the 9th lowest value since 1931”.
The period from April to September, according to the institute, was extremely dry, with monthly values of the amount of precipitation always lower than the average value, which corresponds to the driest second after 2005.
According to the most recent data, the amount of water stored in September fell again in all monitored continental Portugal basins.
Earlier this week, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Carlos Martins, stated at the end of the meeting of the Water Management Commission there is a the imminent risk of water scarcity in the municipalities served by the Fagilde Dam, in the district of Viseu.
The drought has already prompted the Government to grant exceptional support to farmers to catch water, namely in the Alentejo districts of Évora, Beja and Portalegre and in the municipalities of Alcácer do Sal, Grândola and Santiago do Cacém, bathed by Sado.