June 6, 2024
Less than
min read

Desalination, Repairs & More: Portugal's Plan for Algarve Water Crisis

Portugal is expediting investments to combat a persistent drought in the Algarve region, focusing on infrastructure improvements and alternative water sources.
Desalination, Repairs & More: Portugal's Plan for Algarve Water Crisis
Kobu Agency - Unsplash

Portugal's government has pledged to accelerate investments totaling €366 million to combat a "systemic drought" in the tourism-dependent Algarve region. The investments encompass a desalination plant, repairs to leaky pipes, reservoir interconnections, and the utilisation of treated wastewater for golf courses.

Environment Minister Maria da Graca Carvalho emphasised the urgency of the situation, stating that the government will prioritise the execution of these projects using EU pandemic recovery funds. The Algarve, Portugal's southernmost region, is facing the most severe water shortage problems, with drought conditions now considered permanent.

The Iberian Peninsula has been experiencing its driest period in 1,200 years due to climate change, exacerbating the water scarcity issue. While recent rains have partially replenished some reservoirs, water levels in the Algarve remain critically low.

The government has eased some restrictions on water consumption in the region, but agricultural irrigation will still need to be reduced by 13% compared to 2023 levels. These measures aim to address the ongoing water crisis and secure the region's water supply for the future.

Close Icon