In the motion approved by the municipality to propose the construction of a new dam, which would join the existing ones in the east (Beliche and Odeleite), the Algarve Chamber appeals to the government and the competent authorities to “look for solutions” to increase water reserves that are available, rather than naming “culprits” and limiting activities such as golf or agriculture.

Minimise effects

“The construction of any work by human beings inevitably generates impacts, whether positive or negative. In environmental terms, any solution that interferes with the water cycle has the same results. It is important to minimise the negative effects and increase the positive ones”, considered the municipality of the district of Faro in a statement.

The mountain municipality, located in the northeast of the Algarve and with one of the territories that is most affected by desertification and population aging, stressed that the Algarve is the region “that suffers the most annually from the lack of this primary resource” and it is therefore necessary to work to find alternatives, without compromising economic activity.

“Main culprits”

“As the main culprits of this situation, agriculture is always the main culprit in the media, followed by golf”, says the municipality, noting that “golf is an important offer” and “contributes a lot to the inflow of foreign exchange” into the economy.

On the other hand, the municipality argued in the motion that agriculture, “in addition to being a fundamental activity for food, is also the main weapon to combat rural exodus, as well as an important economic activity in the region”, having therefore “strategic value for the diversification of the regional and national economy.

“This has already proven that, in times of economic crisis, when tourism suffers significant drops, it works as a buffer for the regional economy”, highlighted the Algarve Chamber, chaired by Osvaldo Gonçalves (PS).

Foupana location

The municipality also recalled that some alternative solutions are under way to combat the lack of water in the Algarve, such as “desalination, the diversion of water from the Guadiana in the Pomarão area and the use of waste water”, but regretted that the proposal for a new dam on the Foupana has never advanced.

According to the Alcoutim Chamber, the construction of a dam on the Foupana is “an old ambition”, although it has faced “strong resistance from the bodies” responsible for the areas of the Environment and water resources.

The municipality therefore wants the new dam to contribute to “increased water availability” in the water supply subsystem, as well as to “increase water reserves for agricultural purposes”.

The municipality thus considers that, “it is urgent to intercede with the central power for the construction” of the dam of the Ribeira da Foupana and the “consequent connection between Algarve dams”.

The motion will be sent to the President of the Republic, President of the Assembly of the Republic, Prime Minister or the ministers of Environment and Climate Action, Agriculture and Food and Territorial Cohesion.