“Portugal is consuming more water than it should” warns Portuguese Nature Association
Portugal continues to consume more water than it should, jeopardizing climate change adaptation, warns a report by the Nature Portugal Association (ANP), a Portuguese non-governmental organization working in association with the international World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The warning came yesterday October 1st, on National Water Day, and at a time when the amount of water stored has fallen in all water reserves.
In the report on “Portugal’s Vulnerability to Drought and Scarcity”, the ANP/WWF point out that healthy aquatic ecosystems are the best allies to cope with rising temperatures and less rainfall, so preserving them should be “a priority”.
It also draws attention to the growing “structural shortages” of water, especially in the south of the country in regions like the Algarve and Alentejo, a scenario that is likely to worsen.
The report says that the country cannot afford to manage water shortages with emergency drought responses, and that a reaction like that would be over the top. However, it does push forward the idea of focusing on reducing water consumption and increasing water use efficiency, stressing that “conserving and rehabilitating healthy aquatic ecosystems” is the first line of defence against the impacts of climate change. “
In the report, the association proposes that entrepreneurs and business owners integrate water management into the company’s value chain, and diversify supplies, including wastewater reuse.
For policy makers, the report suggests that they should also diversify sources of supply, promote irrigation efficiency, and make agricultural subsidies conditional on good water use.
And in regards to citizens, the report suggest they reduce their consumption permanently and choose to consume low water footprint products.