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São Brás de Alportel officials want new dams in Algarve to fight future droughts

The municipal executive of São Brás unanimously approved on Tuesday, November 12th, a motion in defence of the urgent construction of new dams in the Algarve, namely the Monte da Ribeira Dam, in the municipality of São Brás de Alportel.

At a time when all the municipalities of the Algarve are already suffering from severe drought conditions, a situation of major concern for the region, the situation requires rapid intervention. The São Paulo municipal executive considers it urgent to build these new dams to remedy the problem.

The motion presented by the Mayor Vitor Guerreiro, and approved by all council officials, is based on the Climate Change Action Program approved in August this year by the Portuguese government, as well as the Intermunicipal Climate Change Adaptation Plan of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL). This covers the need to increase water availability in the Algarve and to re-evaluate the feasibility of building new dams, including the Alportel Dam, which has initial project dating back to 1981, and which is currently the most likely to constructed due to the required urgency.

The motion is also likely rooted in the United Nations’ Global Warming Special Report, which amassed several studies presented by the scientific community that warn of climate change occurring at a planetary level and its implications and future risks.

The construction of this new reservoir will contribute to the resilience of the region’s hydraulic system, as well as being a measure of reinforcement of storage capacity. Not only will it ensure the needs of water for human consumption and agricultural irrigation are met, but it will complement the region in other ways, as is the case with the proposed Foupana dam, in the municipality of Alcoutim, which will also ensure flood containment in Tavira.

The motion will be put to the Municipal Assembly, to several competent entities and to the Portuguese Government, proposing the realization of this instrumental infrastructural project for the Algarve. Before any dam can become a reality, the council officials will have to battle with the government’s bureaucratic process.