The municipality now has more than twice the supply and storage capacity.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Polido Pires, inaugurated, on the 4th of August, in Baião, a set of new equipment for capturing and storing water, which represent more than a doubling of the existing capacity. An investment of more than 3 million euros, in a project under the responsibility of the public company Águas do Douro e Paiva (AdDP), part of the Águas de Portugal group.
The minister began by visiting the new source of water on the Douro river, in Abelhal, Santa Cruz do Douro, then moving on to the Sobreiral reservoir and pumping station and, later, to the new reservoir at the Pousada Water Treatment Station. , where he unveiled the inauguration plaque, together with the Mayor of Baião, Paulo Pereira and the President of AdDP, António Borges.
In the Town Hall, the Secretary of State said that “Baião is on the right path, presenting itself as an example, in many areas, particularly in this one, the Environment, and we have to collaborate with these municipalities, with sustainability, and this is done with investment”.
Hugo Polido Pires also underlined the importance of this investment, “not only for the supply, but also for the quality of the water”, adding that the new EU funding will bring new application possibilities, namely for projects related to the water cycle.
The Mayor of Baião, Paulo Pereira, said he was “satisfied, taking into account the investment made, not only for the value in itself, but for what it will translate into for the benefit of our population”, and “grateful” to the partners , namely with the companies of the Águas de Portugal group, which has allowed, “since 2006, an investment in Baião that exceeds 30 million euros”.
The mayor said that there is a discrepancy between the water supply coverage rates in the municipality, around 80%, and sanitation rates, which are still far below the intended rates. “We have another challenge here”, warned Paulo Pereira, revealing that he had informed the Secretary of State of other challenges, namely with regard to biowaste, where he foresees “difficulty in meeting the established targets”; or other measures, such as the reuse of wastewater for irrigation, and the creation of a “biomass plant, whose project already exists, but which needs funding for its implementation”.
Paulo Pereira did not forget the issue of water and sanitation tariffs, recalling that Baião, like all the municipalities in the “Águas do Noroeste” partnership, is scrupulously respecting, unlike others, all the assumptions that were the basis for joining the a supra-municipal system, namely access to community funding and the sustainability of the systems, through full coverage of expenses with revenues from tariffs. The mayor ended up, thus, calling on the Government to take measures and, namely in clarifying with the populations, “do not leave us alone in this situation”.
Finally, the Mayor noted his satisfaction with the fact that “today we are fulfilling yet another commitment that we assumed with the population”. This is “always our objective and our purpose, to fulfill the commitments we assume with our population, however difficult and time-consuming the paths may sometimes be”.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of Águas do Douro e Paiva, António Borges, highlighted the “big leap in terms of water, it was about fulfilling the mission and nothing more. Today we fulfill our mission”.
The company Águas do Douro e Paiva carried out two works with a total value of 3,109,253 Euros:
– New Origin of Water Supply to Baião, with the implementation of water collection from Abelhal and a cast iron pumping conduit, the construction of an intermediate and pumping reservoir at Sobreiral and a new reservoir next to the Pousada ETA, in the amount of of 2,042,923 euros.
– Supply to Valadares – East Zone which consisted of the construction of an “upstream” supply network for the connection between the Amarelhe reservoir and the Valadares reservoir, through a cast iron pipeline, in the amount of 1,066,330 euros. This branch may also extend to Viariz and Gestaçô.
The ceremony also featured the presentation of an awareness campaign for the rational use of water under the motto: “Water is life. Don’t waste it!