The water reserves in the Algarve are sufficient to ensure public supply and although the levels of the dams are low, there are no restrictions on consumption, a source from Águas do Algarve told Lusa.
The absence of rain has contributed to accentuate the drought, especially in the eastern (eastern) Algarve, however, the existing water reserves allow to give the “guarantee” that there will be no restrictions on supply, said the spokesperson of the company that manages the multi-municipal public water supply system in the Algarve.
“The data we have regarding the water needs to supply the population of the Algarve, which is in the order of 72 million cubic meters, and what the current reserves are, plus underground abstractions, allows us to guarantee that there are no , for now, there is no forecast of any type of constraint to supply, either in quantity or in quality ”, assured Teresa Fernandes.
That official acknowledged, however, that “the water reserves available this year in the Algarve region are below what would be desirable for this time of year”, which is explained by the “low or almost zero rainfall that occurred in 2020 and the year hydrological system in 2019 ”.
The same source clarified that there are “two different situations in the Algarve”, one in the western (western) Algarve, served by the Odelouca dam, where “the water availability is higher” and are situated “in the order of 40%”, and another in the leeward, which has the Odeleite and Beliche dams, where the levels are “between 16 and 20%”.
“In addition to this, the underground abstractions, which also exist and serve as a source of water supply, where we will also search for reserves, but, in fact, the western Algarve is in a more peaceful situation than the leeward,” he said.
Teresa Fernandes warned, however, about the capacity that the public supply service managed by Águas do Algarve has, with “a reversible pumping station located in Loulé”, to be able to “transport water from the leeward to the windward and vice versa”, if it’s necessary.
“There is greater efficiency here in the management of water resources for public supply, so this technical availability – obviously the ideal would be that the levels were higher in any of the zones -, it gives a greater resilience to the multi-municipal system” that supplies of water to the Algarve, he considered.
This does not mean “that it is not important to make an assertive and rigorous management of water management for all purposes”, he stressed, referring not only to the water management in each person’s home, but also to the need for “a very great care with regard to eliminating losses and making efficient use of water for all purposes, agricultural, human consumption and tourism or irrigation of green spaces ”, he warned.
That person highlighted the “increasing use” of water from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) “for uses other than human consumption”, namely, for the irrigation of golf courses, as a way to preserve existing reserves.
Teresa Fernandes therefore called for these treated waters to also be used for other uses outside of human consumption, such as street washing or garden watering.