Drought levels still not deemed bad enough to limit private water usage

DROUGHT LEVELS STILL NOT DEEMED BAD ENOUGH TO LIMIT PRIVATE WATER USAGEEven given the current drought situation experienced mainly in the south Portugal, the minister of the environment and climate action, Duarte Cordeiro, has for the time being ruled out prohibitive measures regarding water consumption, such as for swimming pools, lawn irrigation, etc.

"There is no point in introducing a prohibition culture when it is not yet necessary. When it is necessary, we will not hesitate, as happened when we limited, for example, certain dams in the Monte da Rocha area, or the decision that was taken by the agriculture minister, to limit new crops in the Mira river area," Duarte Cordeiro told reporters in Porto on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the launch of the public tender for construction of the Rubi metro line.

The minister had been asked about possible bans, for example on private swimming pools, and about exceptional measures taken following the drought situation particularly in the south of the country.

"Some exceptional measures have already been taken," he said, after an inter-ministerial drought commission was convened "at the end of April", Duarte Cordeiro told journalists.

According to the minister, at that meeting the most critical areas were identified: the western Algarve and the coastal area of Alentejo, "namely the area of the Mirar river, associated with the Santa Clara dam".  

"There are restrictions that we have applied to a number of dams, both in the Alentejo, and in the Western Algarve area, and there are restrictions on new crops for the Mira zone."

Duarte Cordeiro also recalled that currently, "in general, at this moment, the country has more water available than it had last year", with an average level of 80% of water in reservoirs.

"At the moment we have an unequal situation, in some areas of the country we don't anticipate having a water supply problem yet. We have two areas of the country, the Alentejo coast and the Western Algarve, where we have had to apply measures to rationally manage the resources we have available," he explained.

The meteorological drought situation worsened in mainland Portugal in April, with 89% of mainland territory in drought, 34% of which in severe and extreme drought, according to the national meteorological institute, IPMA. Just over 40% of the south of the country is in drought.

Source Lusa

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