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Dam worries continue as drought worsens in the Algarve

drought worseningThe Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) this morning released an update discussing water storage levels of the reservoirs in mainland Portugal. According to the same, there has been no noticeable increase of water levels in the Algarve’s reserves during the month of November.

In fact quite to the contrary is occurring in the region. The trend of decrease in reserves has continued, which began in early 2018 and has since only worsened.

The water stored at the end of November 2019 at the Odeleite Dam is the lowest value in the entire national data set, and is about half of what was it at the end of November 2018. In the case of the Beliche Dam there are some lower values from back ​​in the 1990s (1993, 1994 and 1995) that match current values, but the November 2019 data comes soon after.

At the Bravura Dam only at the end of November 1995 has a lower volume of stored water been seen.

 The Odelouca Dam still has a very short data history (only nine years), but the end of November 2019 is the lowest recorded volume of stored water.

The Arade and Funcho Dams show rather different results from the pattern of the other Algarve dams and present intermediate situations, as the respective storage levels at the end of November 2019 are in the middle of the descending national ranking.

As a result, water availability for the population, agriculture and regional biodiversity is increasingly close to critical levels. Some speculators have pointed that the fact that the Algarve is quickly approaching a state of hydrological emergency.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, ten of the 59 reservoirs monitored in Portugal had, at the end of November, water levels above 80% of the total volume, while 25 had levels below 40%, according to data from the National Water Resources Information Service.

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