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Portugal cuts golf course irrigation in drought-hit Algarve tourist hub

View of an abandoned village that has been submerged at Cabril dam reservoir in Pedrogao Grande, Portugal, 13 July 2022.

Portugal announced it would reduce irrigation in Algarve’s green areas and golf courses to help combat an unprecedented drought. According to Friday’s statement from the country’s environment minister, this is to prevent water rationing.


According to IPMA’s latest heat wave data, 99% Portugal’s territory is currently in severe or extremely drought.

IPMA reported that Portugal’s maximum temperature during the first 17 days of July was 33.9 degrees Celsius. This is 5.2 degrees more than in the same time last summer.

Duarte Cordeiro (Environment Minister) stated that the Algarve restrictive measures had been approved by both the government and AHETA Hotels. It will help to save 100 million litres water during the summer months.

Portugal is home to more than 10,000,000 people. 18 litres of water is the average daily consumption per capita.

Reporters were told by him that it is the worst drought of the century. All Portuguese should save water: farmers, families, as well as the tourism industry.


He said that August will also be hot and that water won’t be rationed.

National Statistics Institute (INE) reports that the number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal in May jumped sixfold to over 1.58 million, but was only 9% lower than pre-coronavirus epidemic levels.

At 16%, Britain accounted for the largest percentage of May arrivals. The majority were headed to the Algarve.

The Iberian peninsula has been the driest in 1,200 years due to climate change. According to Nature Geoscience, winter rains will likely drop even more.

Portugal has 75% of its water supply devoted to agriculture. However, the environmental agency APA estimates around a third of that water is lost to old irrigation and distribution systems.

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