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Portugal needs rain

Published on 22/03/2019

The dry and sunny weather is all very well – but if it doesn’t rain soon, the summer will be full of news about water shortages and dying livestock.

The short-term weather forecast is for clear skies across the nation with, “no big prospects of heavy rainfall,” according to the weather service.

If it does not rain in the next two months Portugal will face a new cycle of water scarcity next summer, according to a lengthy article in Público on Friday.

2019 promises to be a particularly dry year, taking into account lack of rainfall in the first quarter.

In January, normally a pretty rainy month, Bombeiros teams from several Councils carried out 179 water supply operations to ensure sufficient drinking water. The most affected districts were Bragança, Beja and Braga.

From December 2018 to January 2019, the number of operations to supply water to the population doubled, according to the government.

The situation may worsen and if “it does not rain with abundance in April and May, it looks bad”, says Filipe Duarte Santos, a climate change specialist and president of the National Council of Environment and Sustainable Development.

In the short term “there are no big prospects of heavy rainfall,” says Santos.