Wines of Alentejo and Water of Portugal sign a protocol to combat climate change
Cooperation between the entities comes in response to the growing desertification of the Alentejo, with agriculture being responsible for the use of 75% of the water used in Portugal.

The Alentejo Regional Winegrowing Commission (CVRA) has just announced the signing of a two-year protocol with Waters of Portugal (AdP VALOR), which aims to mitigate climate change, promoting the circular economy and fighting desertification in the Alentejo.

AQUA VINI, the first project within the scope of cooperation between the two entities, and financed by the Environmental Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, already started in March, at Herdade da Ravasqueira, aims to promote the reuse of water in wine-making activities. The protocol signed between the entities intends to reinforce the actions in the scope of the reuse of wastewater, reuse of sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP); sustainability and circular economy; and innovation projects, being in line with the purpose of the Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Program (WASP), launched in 2015.

“It is with great satisfaction that we announce the signing of a protocol with AdP which, we are certain will prove to be extremely beneficial for Alentejo wine producers, in terms of water savings, a very scarce resource in our region, and that we also hope that may result in a revolution in wine production in Portugal, which respects the environment more, promotes the reuse of water and, therefore, adopts a new paradigm, that of the circular economy ”, advances Francisco Mateus, president of CVRA.

During the two-year duration of the protocol, it is intended to develop Research & Development (R&D) Projects - in which AQUA VINI is inserted -, through the promotion of applications for financing programs, at national and community level, of projects of research, development and innovation; boost joint participation in co-financed projects; streamline awareness-raising activities, workshops and conferences; and to promote initiatives that foster the circular economy in Alentejo.

AQUA VINI is a pioneering project that will make it possible to study "the reuse of water in irrigation activities, the effects of this application on the development of irrigated crops and the impact on soil and water resources, as well as on irrigation systems", explains AdP VALUE. “Knowing that agriculture is one of the biggest responsible for the water consumption in Portugal - about 75% of the water at national level is used by this area -, we realize that our responsibility is increased, that we need to act and act today in the development of technologies and projects that guarantee that, in the future, we will have a viticulture that is sustainable throughout the country, enabling a brighter future for people, for business and for the planet ”, concludes João Barroso, WASP coordinator.

It should be remembered that Portugal is at risk of water scarcity until 2040, according to the World Resources Institute, with Alentejo being one of the regions with the lowest rate of precipitation and one of the most affected by extreme episodes of heat waves.

Vinhos do Alentejo 2021