cartoon of dry soil and sky with white clouds

The committee monitoring the effects of the drought is meeting today in Faro with the government present, when a plan is expected to be drawn up to limit water consumption in the Algarve, which is going through the longest drought on record.

The 18th meeting of the Standing Committee for the Prevention, Monitoring and Follow-up of the Effects of Drought will be chaired today by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes, from 2:30pm, at the headquarters of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission in Faro.

Among the proposals to counteract the Algarve’s drought have been presented to mayors and other associations in the Algarve, namely in tourism and agriculture, are solutions that involve reducing water consumption by around 70% for the agricultural sector and 15% for urban consumers.

The Minister for the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro, acknowledged that the situation is serious and said that the government is considering reducing pressure, suspending second meters and even penalizing those who consume more water.

In the case of the agricultural sector, Duarte Cordeiro stressed the need to ensure survival agriculture by reducing the water available in the Odeleite reservoir by 70% and the Funcho-Arade reservoir by 50%.

The opening of a tender for the construction of a desalination plant for the Albufeira area, with a capacity of 16 million cubic meters, is expected later this month.

For her part, the Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, has already admitted that, in order to minimize the drought situation, boreholes could be rehabilitated and “small mobile desalination plants” could be used in Algarve agriculture.

These measures have been contested by associations of Algarve farmers and producers, as well as irrigators in the eastern Algarve, who consider the planned water cuts to be “unaffordable”, “unbalanced” and “unfair”.

After today’s meeting, a resolution is due to be published which will bring together all the decisions being taken.

Related Article: Due to the drought in the Algarve, water’s days are numbered

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