Algarve farmers will only accept equal water cuts for all

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The Algarve’s Commission for Hydro-Agricultural Sustainability (CSHA) today defended an update of the cuts in water consumption imposed by the previous government and warned that it “will only accept equal cuts” for all sectors in the region.

The commission’s position was announced in a statement on the eve of the meeting of the Southern Zone Regional Subcommittee of the Reservoir Management Commission to assess the situation of water resources in the Algarve.

The CSHA, which represents more than 1,000 producers, operators and associations in the Algarve’s agricultural sector, believes that the “forecast storage” of surface water in the Algarve’s basins has already been “exceeded” and that the region “has sufficient water levels for the coming years”.

“Bearing in mind that no justification has ever been given for the difference between the cuts for agriculture and the other sectors […], the CSHA will only accept what it has always defended, a 15% cut in water consumption for all sectors,” he said.

The commission said it expects Tuesday’s meeting – which will be attended by the main players involved in water use – to update the cuts in force since January, of 15% for the urban and tourism sectors and 25% for agriculture.

“We also hope that, at this meeting, a proposal will be presented for groundwater management legislation that will allow the creation of associations of installed producers and users of each aquifer,” reads the note.

At the same time, the CSHA said it would “like to hear” the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) announce the increase in the volume of water to be transferred from the Funcho dam to the Arade dam in the western Algarve.

The measure, he adds, has been requested by the Silves, Lagoa and Portimão Irrigation Association, so that agriculture in that irrigation perimeter can carry out this campaign with a 15% cut, as it needs five cubic hectometers of water from the Funcho”.

“We believe that only by implementing these measures will it be possible to contribute to the sustainable management of water resources and guarantee the efficient supply of water to agriculture, priorities assumed by this government,” concludes the CSHA statement.

According to the government, the meeting of the Southern Regional Subcommittee of the Reservoir Management Commission, scheduled for Tuesday, precedes the meeting of the Permanent Commission for the Prevention, Monitoring and Follow-up of the Effects of Drought, which is due to take place by May 10 in Faro.

The meeting will be chaired by the Ministers for the Environment and Energy, Maria da Graça Carvalho, and for Agriculture and Fisheries, José Manuel Fernandes, where the new decisions on the management of water resources in the Algarve will be coordinated.

The Algarve has been on alert due to the drought since February 5, and the previous government approved a set of measures to restrict consumption, namely a 15% reduction in the urban sector, including tourism, and a 25% reduction in agriculture.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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