The Portuguese government decided to ration water in the east of the drought-stricken tourist region of the Algarve (south). The ultimate goal is to reduce groundwater use by 15%.
“In the dams of Odelite and Blech, water use for agriculture and golf courses will be reduced by 20%,” Portuguese Environment Minister Duarte Cordeiro stated the outcome of a meeting held by the Drought Management Committee on Thursday evening.
In the case of water reuse systems in parks or golf courses, this reduction will be increased to 50%.
The Portuguese executive also announced the creation of a “working group” dedicated to water resources in the Algarve, made up of members from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and the Directorate General of Agriculture to review water withdrawal permits in the region.
Mr. Cordero stressed that he would have to identify licenses that could be revoked to reduce water use from groundwater in the Algarve region by 15%.
Invitation to Brussels
According to the government, 36% of Portuguese territory is currently experiencing severe or extreme drought, particularly the Alentejo and Algarve regions in the south of the country.
Portugal has officially submitted a request for assistance from Brussels to demand the activation of the European Agricultural Reserve, Portuguese Minister of Agriculture Maria do Sio Antunes said on Tuesday at the Cabinet.
According to the European Copernicus Observatory, 91.9% of Portuguese territory is affected by drought, including 25.8% that are in an alert state. The Iberian Peninsula is the European region most affected by this phenomenon.