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Portugal ‘is living on water it does not have’

Published on 23/05/2019

“Portugal is living on water that it does not have,” according to the Association for Nature Portugal (ANP).

“Citizens, companies, farmers and the State must commit to the sustainable use of water in a country that is affected by water shortages and where this is expected to worsen in the near future,” said the association.

The conservation of water ecosystems, the rehabilitation of systems that are forgotten and degraded and the end of financing new irrigation in areas of water shortage are some of the initiatives suggested by the association.

“Water scarcity in Portugal is combatted through responsible measures throughout the water use chain,”said Afonso do Ó, a specialist in water and food in a statementy issued by the ANP.

Citizens should reduce domestic consumption by purchasing a more efficient appliance or by using less water, reducing the water footprint and having a more civic attitude towards the environment, which is achieved not only by denouncing the attitude of those but also through increased pressure on local authorities to change behavior, states ANP.

Portugal is “partially drought-prone, something that is worsened by climate change,” according to Afonso do Ó who says the governments contuned drought response is close to futile and that people and agriculture should use less.

Due to the poor rainy seasons Portugal, farmers fear drought.

According to the association, the drought situation is more pronounced in the south of the country, and has a significant impact on income loss in autumn and winter with poor crops lerading to lack of food for cattle.

Biodiversity has suffered significant losses from the current water situation. Data from WWF’s Living Planet 2018 report show that “freshwater species populations have suffered the sharpest decline of all vertebrates in the last 50 years, falling by an average of 83% since 1970.” That’s according to Angela Morgado, ANP’s executive director.

These statements should be read and digested by Lagoa Council whose dedication to the destruction of the freshwater wetlands that gave the city its name, continues in the face of local and international opposition, preferring to see yet another Continente supermarket built in a city with more than adequate provision for shoppers.