Portugal begins to ration water amid extreme drought

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Several cities across Portugal, more than 95 per cent of whose territory is in “severe or extreme drought”, have begun to adopt measures to ration water use.

The water crisis is particularly serious in the southern region, where the Algarve Intermunicipal Community on Saturday announced “joint measures” to face the drought, reports Xinhua news agency.

Those measures include reducing irrigation of green spaces, using wastewater for non-drinking purposes, as well as campaigns to promote rational use of water.

President of the Portuguese Water Distribution and Drainage Association Rui Godinho defended the urgent implementation of fundamental structural measures to reduce water losses.

It is necessary to “attack the problem” with specific measures and a national program for efficient use of water, he was quoted by the local media as saying.

Late last month, the government had announced that it would allocate 5 million euros from its Environmental Fund for awareness campaigns and contingency solutions to fight the severe drought that has spread across the country.

At the beginning of February, the government restricted the use of several dams for electricity production and agricultural irrigation due to the drought in mainland Portugal.

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