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Drier future forces Iberian governments to collaborate better in water management

PICTURES THE UNDERSTANDS | DR - DRIER FUTURE FORCES IBERIAN GOVERNMENTS TO COLLABORATE BETTER IN WATER MANAGEMENTThe future is dry in the Iberian Peninsula, the environmentalist organization ANP / WWF warned today, with a report that advocates more collaboration between Portugal and Spain, to manage rivers and water availability.

“In general, the (climatic) models confirm a reduction in precipitation together with a consistent increase in average temperatures, resulting in greater evapotranspiration”, says Associação Natureza Portugal, national representative of the international organization World Wide Fund for Nature (ANP / WWF).

The result of this, with a tendency to worsen by 2050, will be “less water in the soil, in rivers and aquifers as the 21st century progresses”.

Possible scenarios stem from an increase in temperature in the 20th century and a tendency in reduced rainfall, especially further south.

“However, given the high variability in precipitation, there is no clear trend for the 21st century”, the report points out.

Hence, irregularity “in the volume, seasonality and intensity” of the precipitation and more frequent intense storms is expected.

“Even without changes in the demands of human consumption, plants and animals will find it more difficult to satisfy all their water needs. For humans, it will be a challenge to have all the water available to maintain the current lifestyle, ”says the organization.

The ANP / WWF considers it essential that those who consume more water pay more for it, arguing that the Portuguese Government should apply progressive tariffs for the exploration of water from boreholes on the southern Algarve coast and that the Spanish Government should do the same in the aquifers fed by the Guadiana and Doñana rivers.

It also argues that there should be a review of the flows agreed on international rivers by the Albufeira Convention and that extreme meteorological events be anticipated in the management of river basins, anticipating the circumstances in which it is necessary to store for droughts, or guarantee minimum flows to limit impacts in water courses.

Across the peninsula, the report argues that “the relationship with water be changed”, especially by “the productive sectors that consume more, mainly for agricultural use”.

The ANP / WWF points to an increase in the use of resources in Portugal, such as intensive irrigation from the Alqueva dam, and in Spain, in Campo de Cartagena, as evidence of the “probable collapse of biodiversity and the reduction of safety for nature. and for people ”.

For biodiversity, the scenario is already of “evident crisis”, with a decline of 84 percent in freshwater species between 1970 and 2016.

In the particular case of the Iberian Peninsula, 52% of the species are in categories of risk of extinction, says the report.

Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/