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'Desertification' has arrived in the Algarve

'DESERTIFICATION' HAS ARRIVED IN THE ALGARVEUniversity of Algarve researchers warn that climate change has caused desertification in the Algarve, despite the rain that has been falling across the country in recent days.

Even with the heavy rains across the country in recent days, the Algarve remains in a severe drought and the situation in dams and other water reserves in the region has changed little or nothing. Experts warn of the seriousness of the situation and say that if it does not rain abundantly in the coming months, the Algarve will only have water until April.

According to the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), "the 6 dams in the region only have 24% of total capacity all together".

According to the researcher at the University of Algarve, Nuno Loureiro, "we use between 100 and 120 million m3 per year, which means that at the moment we no longer have reserves for 1 year, we are basically reliant on what rain falls now and if it doesn't rain, we enter into a situation of profound water shortage,  with underground reserves at exhaustion". Speaking to TV channel Antena 1, the researcher emphasised that this is not an immediate consumption problem but a problem linked to the climate that has changed, "it stopped raining in the Algarve".

All in all, it rains 120ml less per year than it did 30 years ago in the region. "We are witnessing a structural change, we are talking about desertification", warns Nuno Loureiro, who considers the construction of the desalination plant in the Algarve to be a solution for human consumption, but not for other sectors: "it is not a solution for agriculture, for golf, nor for the territory, in no way does the cost of desalinated water allow it to be used for this type of use".

António Pina,  president of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community, argues that a solution is to transfer water from the North to the South, "it is something that the country has to study". If the situation does not improve there could be a significant increase for high-consumption consumers, "we are not thinking of affecting the average family that consumes up to 15m3, but starting to ration water, perhaps we will have to ration it via price ".

Another issue he focused on is to do with the type of agriculture that the region can have depending on the existing water resources, "above all, water capture cannot be completely unregulated, access to groundwater is today completely unregulated, each person uses what he wants and this means there may not be  sufficient for the neighbor next door, who also wants to be a farmer". António Pina supports the creation of a quota system for agriculture.

Source https://www.algarveprimeiro.com/

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0 #1 Stuart H Watson 2023-10-28 11:04
The rest of the temperate world use desalination. It’s cheap and proven…. but here in Portugal they resist the investment!

Something Doesnt add up.

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