natural water reservoir, treesBarragem Arade

The water level of Algarve’s water dams did not significantly change during the month of November, meaning that the reservoirs of the Algarve continue to have very low levels for this time of year and are a cause for concern, SINRH (the National Water Resources Information System) states on its recent Bulletin.

The most critical situation continues to be that of the Bravura Dam, the only reservoir in the Ribeiras do Algarve Hydrographic Basin, with 7.6% of its total capacity. This means a huge difference to the average volume of 53.4% at the end of November. The volume of the neighboring Arade Hydrographic Basin stands at 25.5%. The average to compare with is 37.8%. In this river basin, there are two reservoirs whose main use is for irrigation, Arade and Funcho, which are currently 15% and 33%, respectively.

The Odelouca Dam, intended for human supply and which has the highest capacity in the Algarve, is currently at 24% of its total capacity, (information by SNIHR).

Viewing the water availability data from Águas do Algarve, which manages the dams to supply the region, the useful volume of this reservoir was only 6.9%, in mid-November. The Odeleite and Beliche dams, in the Ribeiras do Sotavento sub-basin, are the least critical – but still cause concern. The Odeleite dam, the second largest in the Algarve, is at 32% of its total capacity. The useful volume stored in this reservoir was 18.93%, on November 17th.

Also on November 17th, the Beliche reservoir had a useful volume of 16.36%. The total volume stored was 25%, the same as at the end of the previous month. At national level, compared to the last day of October, there was an increase in the volume stored in five river basins and a decrease in six.

„Of the 60 monitored reservoirs, 15 have water availability greater than 80% of the total volume and 17 have water availability lower than 40% of the total volume“, states SNIRH.

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