According to the Portuguese government, 36 percent of Portugal is currently experiencing severe or extreme drought, especially in the Alentejo and Algarve regions in the south of the country.
“In the Algarve’s Audelite and Pelech reservoirs, water use for agriculture and golf courses will be reduced by 20 percent,” Portuguese Environment Minister Duarte Cordeiro said after a meeting of the Drought Commission on Thursday night. For parks or golf courses with water reuse systems, this reduction is increased to 50 percent.
The government also announced that it would set up a working group on water resources in the Algarve region. It will be made up of members of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and will review water extraction permits in the area. Cordero said the committee will review permits that can be revoked to reduce groundwater use by 15 percent.
Portugal has already submitted a formal request to the European Commission for the release of funds from the agricultural reserve, Portuguese Agriculture Minister Maria do Seu Antunes said during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
According to the European Copernican Earth Observing System, 91.9 percent of Portugal suffers from drought. The warning stage applies to 25.8 per cent of these. The Iberian Peninsula is the European region currently most affected by the drought.
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