“We have several scenarios on the table, all of which I think are relieving in relation to the current situation, therefore, it will always be good news”, said Maria da Graça Carvalho.

The minister was speaking to journalists in Faro, after a meeting of the Regional Subcommittee for the South Zone of the Albufeiras Management Commission, in which the current situation of water resources in the Algarve was assessed.

Maria da Graça Carvalho stressed that the Government is “aware that the lack of water in the Algarve is a problem that is here to stay”, but that the greater rainfall recorded in the region in 2024, compared to last year, paves the way for alleviating the restrictions.

“Fortunately, this year the rainfall was greater than last year and, therefore, we have room to ease a little the restrictions that have been in force until now”, she reinforced.

The Minister of Environment and Energy was asked about the demand from the Commission for Hydroagricultural Sustainability of the Algarve (CSHA), which represents more than 1,000 producers and on Monday warned that it “will only accept equal cuts” for all sectors in the region, which currently they are 15% for the urban sector and tourism and 25% for agriculture.

“We will take into account this request, this demand from farmers. It will certainly weigh on our decision”, replied Maria da Graça Carvalho, adding, without specifying specific values, that all sectors will be able to receive relief.

The Government's decision will be taken based on scientific data and scenarios provided by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and on the opinions expressed at the technical meeting held today, and will then be announced at the next meeting of the Permanent Commission for Prevention, Monitoring and Monitoring of the Effects of Drought (CPPMAES), chaired by the Minister of Environment and Energy and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, José Manuel Fernandes, and to be held until May 10th, in Faro.

The minister also highlighted that “a series of investments are underway at a good pace” and that the Government will “do everything to accelerate them”, including, among others, the construction of a desalination station and the capture of water from the Guadiana river in Pomarão, with funds of around 240 million euros from the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR).

The Algarve has been on alert due to drought since February 5th, with the Government having approved a set of measures to restrict consumption, namely a 15% reduction in the urban sector, including tourism, and a 25% reduction in agriculture.

In addition to these measures, there are others such as combating losses in supply networks, the use of treated water to irrigate green spaces, streets, and golf courses, or the suspension of the granting of titles for the use of water resources.