The regional director of Agriculture, Pedro Monteiro said yesterday that the recent rains have slightly increased dam water levels in the Algarve.
Levels were better in the Eastern Algarve than in the West. In the Western Algarve, the “the rainfall was lower”, with the average for the last week standing at half of that recorded in the Eastern Algarve.
The latest rains allowed the water levels of the main dams in the Algarve to improve, but the increase was felt more in the east than in the west of the region, said the regional director of Agriculture this Wednesday.
“The impact of the rains in the two large dams – Beliche and Odeleite, was that we had substantial contributions”, said Pedro Monteiro, estimating a “positive increase in the reserves” of these two reservoirs , “from the 4th to today, of around 15%”.
Pedro Monteiro pointed out that the sub-region of the Algarve where the most rain fell was the Central Algarve, where there are no dams, with an average of 230 millimetres fallen since the 4th, followed by the Eastern Algarve, with about 200 millimetres, and the West Algarve with an average of just over 100 millimetres.
“The lowt rainfall in the West is something that, for the past two years, has been observed, significantly contrary to what was usual. Historically, it rained more on the West side than on the East side of the Algarve,” said the regional director.
Pedro Monteiro indicated that, with less rainfall, the West of the region has more difficulties to replace water in dams or aquifers, which are the main sources of water for agriculture in the Algarve, “with 30 and 70%”, respectively.
“And this explains why the Bravura dam, in the west continues to have total storage values of less than 15% and is the dam that has the least water in the Algarve”, he justified, adding that the Odelouca and Arade dams also have values lower than 40%.
Pedro Monteiro highlighted the importance of the rains recorded in recent days for crops, whether intensive or rainfed, but also for animal pastures or beekeeping, as they allow bees to have vegetation to produce honey and carry out pollination.
On the other hand, they constitute "a relief for the costs and pockets of agricultural entrepreneurs", who "for at least a month, will not have to water" and spend money on energy to do so, he highlighted.
The regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Algarve warned, however, that, despite this increase in water storage, the Algarve “is still far from even close to a desirable situation, because it started from a situation that, in terms of levels, was very low”.
“Even a month and a half ago we had values below 20% and it has to rain a lot so that the level of dams and aquifers reaches a safe level, which leaves us more relaxed”, he added, warning that “it is necessary to continue saving water, fighting losses” and using this water “very sparingly”.