The Peral-Moncarapacho aquifer

The Peral-Moncarapacho aquifer consists of a complex limestone cave system that occupies an area of 44 square kilometers and stores ground water in the area it occupies.

The Peral-Moncarapacho aquifer sits between the Faro and Luz Tavira aquifers, which have both been identified as ‘vulnerable’ by the Portuguese environment agency and PROBAAL works to prevent it joining this status, by challenging the implementation of an unsuitable Iberdrola S.A. solar project at Cerro do Leiria.

The Peral-Moncarapacho aquifer currently enjoys a status of ‘healthy’, but the recorded measurements of the water levels are none the less, decreasing year on year. This reflects a decrease in rain fall over these years, as well as increased demand for water.

We must adapt to the developing situation regarding water across the region and make its sustainable management our priority.

Areas of trees create micro-climates and encourage rainfall, and because the opposite is equally true, we want do not want to remove bushes and mature trees from the water catchment area of the aquifer. As the Algarve is predicted to become drier over the coming years, we must not allow vast land clearance that would accelerate the process of desertification or reduce water in local boreholes. 

Experts confirm that substantial land clearance of the National Ecological Reserve (REN) land, that forms part of the water catchment area of the Peral-Moncarapacho aquifer would result in decreased water entering the aquifer, and increased flooding to the South.

The proposed siting of the CENTRAL FOTOVOLTAICA ESTOI solar power plant at Cerro do Leiria would cover about 5% of the total area of the aquifer and a much larger percentage of the main area of infiltration.

Because water resources and their preservation are of gravest concern in the dry Algarve, PROBAAL works alongside other agencies and forms part of the association PAS – Platforma Agua Sustentavel.