Think-tank proposes link between Guadiana and Odeleite dam as solution to Algarve drought
A so-called “Guadiana Solution” has been proposed as a way to help fight against the effects of the drought the Algarve has suffered over the past few months. This short term solution, alongside a handful of longer term solutions to tackle this issue, have stemmed from the cycle of debates on the availability and use of water promoted by the University of Algarve and the association Algfuturo over the past month.
Between the 28th of December and the 25th of January the individuals behind the campaign brought discussions on the topic to Tavira, Faro, Silves, and Lagos.
In the end, according to Algfuturo, an environmental think-tank, it was concluded that, in the short term, the Guadiana river could be used as a water supply following an infrastructure project that would take approximately a year and a half, and that is seen by those responsible at the organization as the most ideal solution.
Algfuturo submitted the so-called “Guadiana Solution”, a “fundamental short-term objective”, for the appreciation of “recognized specialist” António Carmona Rodrigues, former Mayor of Lisbon, to pass on to the appropriate political figures. So far Mr. Carmona Rodrigues has endorsed tbe Guadiana as a source of reinforcement for the Algarve’s water reservoirs.
According to Algfuturo, “the solution consists of capturing water on the right bank of the Guadiana, next to Pomarão, in its national section, with a pipeline to carry the water to the Odeleite reservoir, which will make it possible to increase the availability of water in the leeward and windward through the existing pipeline”.
The association claims that this reinforcement of the Odeleite reservoir could be “of the order of 30 to 60,000,000 m3 of water per year.”
The necessary pipeline has an estimated cost of €20 to 25 million. “The solution is very advantageous in relation to others, because it is faster, cheaper and can be made compatible in the future with other solutions, namely with the Foupana dam construction which is being promoted by AMAL”.
The think-tank highlight that “immediate effects” would be noticed if the solution was chosen, an attribute that they deem to be necessary to begin “with the fight against network losses and savings in consumption on all fronts: domestic, agriculture, tourism, public spaces, swimming pools, etc.”.
Other solutions pointed out by the association, in this case in the medium and long term, are “desalination plants, improved wastewater reuse, the construction of the Foupana dam, and a larger array of medium and small dams at spread out locations”.