It was published last week by APA (Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente) a national study concerning water availability today, and future trends.

One of the key takeaways of this report is that, in Portugal, in the last 20 years, 20% of water reserves have been lost! And with the existing consumption rates, combined with rising temperatures and decreasing rain levels (expected to decrease by 15% to 20% in the next decade), water scarcity starts to be a serious issue not only in the south region of Portugal, but spreading to the entire territory. 

There are different consumption rates amongst the several activity sectors, being agriculture the most water intensive, representing around 70% of the total water consumption in our country, being the world average around 60%, so clearly above in Portugal. But water usage efficiency is not restricted to one or another activity sector; we must all commit to this national problem, that will worsen with inactivity, and affect each and every one of us.

The Portuguese Water Management Pact has been created with the vision that coordinated action was needed, to put the Water theme on the Portuguese national agenda. To accomplish such a purpose, the project was created by Centre for Responsible Business & Leadership (from CATÓLICA-LISBON), and the following funding entities: Beta-i; BGI; Esporão; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; Grupo Pestana; Grupo Jerónimo Martins; L’Oréal; Scubic; Sugal Group; Super Bock Group; Tintex Textiles; Veolia. Furthermore, it has the corporate support of LNEC and Microsoft Portugal.

The Water Pact main objectives are to promote a higher consciousness, deepen knowledge and disseminate best practices amongst their members, and at a national level, in the following areas:

  • Water as a valuable resource in the country’s ecological transformation, and its impact on health, economy, and society
  • The need to adapt and accelerate mitigation measures in the climate change context
  • Water reusage relevance in the sustainable development for industries and cities
  • Empower best practices for a sustainable water management
  • Integration and cooperation strategy between public and privately held companies, and the Government (the Green Deal vision).

Water Pact first results are starting to show, not only with the increasing number of members associated with the platform, but also with the number of impacts on social media (LinkedIn), and the international recognition as a credible and valuable project in the water sector, by being accepted as a member of the Water Europe group.

We have developed and participated in several different activities in 2021, such as Greenfest (the biggest sustainability event in Portugal), the celebration of National Water Day, best-practice “sharing sessions” amongst our members and the participation as panel spokeswoman in EIT Food Water-Scarcity event held in Lisbon in December, just to name a few.  

Finally, 2022 will start with some very exciting news: the Portuguese Water Management Pact has been nominated as one of the Finalists for the prestigious AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards. Final votes will be known in January, and we certainly expect that Water is placed by the jury on the Top Spot!  

Have a great and impactful week!

Marta Lima
Executive Coordinator
Portuguese Water Management Pact

This Newsletter covers SDG 6 and 9. 

This article refers to edition #118 of the "Have a Great and Impactful Week" Newsletter.
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