“The Sustainable Water Platform considers that the DIA issued on April 3, 2024 […] does not meet the requirements that allow it to be classified as a DIA”, reads a statement from the platform, which brings together several environmental associations in the southern region of country.

Environmentalists ensure that their position has as an “objective basis” the fact that “numerous elements of the project, essential information of central importance, were not presented and analysed, meaning that, consequently, several impacts of significant value were not assessed”.

On April 3, APA issued a DIA favourable to the seawater desalination plant project to be installed in Albufeira, in the district of Faro, although subject to compliance with a set of conditions.

According to that entity, despite considering that the impacts are not significant, “a set of requirements aimed at safeguarding these possible impacts, as well as the development of possible additional minimization measures” were incorporated into the decision.

“Extensive list”

For the environmentalists, there is an “extensive list of conditions” expressed in the DIA, in relation to various factors, in the fields of geomorphology, water, landscape, marine life, fishing, noise pollution, and effluent rejection, among others, which, necessarily, must be subject to environmental assessment 'a priori', and not just as part of RECAPE.

PAS is a movement created in 2020 and groups Rocha Portugal, Almargem – Association for the Defense of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the Algarve, CIVIS – Association for the Deepening of Citizenship, Faro 1540 – Association for the Defense and Promotion of the Environmental and Cultural Heritage of Faro, Glocal Faro, Quercus – Algarve Regional Center and Regenerate – Association for the Protection and Regeneration of Ecosystems.

The construction of a desalination plant in the municipality of Albufeira, whose base value is 90 million euros, is one of the response measures to the drought affecting the southern region of Portugal, with the equipment expected to have an initial water conversion capacity from the sea in the potable capacity of 16 cubic hectometres.

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