Algarve drought written on cartoon with dry soil and mountains and sky background

Although there is more water in the Algarve’s dams thanks to the rain of the last few days, abstraction remains suspended.

January has already been the third warmest month on record and the expected rise in temperatures with the arrival of spring, plus the approach of the tourist season, will have implications for consumption in a region that barely has any water guaranteed for this year

Last week’s rain increased the water in the Algarve’s dams by almost five cubic hectometers, especially in the western Algarve, where the drought situation is more extreme. More rain is expected towards the end of the month, but rising temperatures should continue to keep the region on alert.

Thanks to the 118 mm of rainfall over the last few days, the streams around Monchique are once again flowing strongly towards the Bravura, Funcho and Odelouca dams.

The rain has had virtually no impact on the reservoirs downstream, but in total, the Algarve’s six reservoirs have recovered five million cubic meters in a week. They are now at 35% of their capacity, the equivalent of 155 cubic hectometers, although much less than a year ago.

Only the Bravura dam is fuller than it was in 2023. However, both here and in Odelouca, water collection is still suspended.

Also in the southwest of the Alentejo, the Santa Clara dam has filled to 11 cubic hectometers in the last week and is now at 36% of capacity. Since January, the level of this dam has risen by two and a half meters.

More rain is forecast for the last week of March. With the land less parched and the streams flowing, a new recharge of the dams is to be expected. However, especially in the Algarve, drought contingency measures are unlikely to ease.

January has already been the third hottest month on record and the expected rise in temperatures with the arrival of spring, plus the approach of the tourist season, will have implications for consumption in a region that has barely any water guaranteed for this year.

Related article: Algarve: Possibility of state of calamity if drought continues

Portugal’s water reservoirs

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