Portugal has the highest quality of water that comes out of the consumer's tap, currently standing at 98.96 percent. However it was only seven years ago that drinking water managed to reach the quality mark of around 99 percent, while in 1993, this figure was only 50 percent.
“The safe water indicator, which reflects compliance with water quality requirements (parametric values), as well as the performance of the minimum number of regulatory analyses, in mainland Portugal, stood at 98.96 percent in 2021 (98.85 percent in 2020), confirming the trend for the seventh consecutive year of maintaining this indicator at 99 percent, that is, excellence in the quality of water for human consumption”, reads the Annual Report of the Water and Waste Services (RASARP), published by the Water and Waste Services Regulatory Authority (ERSAR).
According to a report by ECO, ERSAR's next challenge will not be to achieve the 100 percnet goal, but to work to maintain the level of quality that it has been able to maintain over the last seven years. For this, at least €3.5 billion will be needed — a value that translates into a set of measures, including the rehabilitation of supply infrastructures, as set out in the Strategic Plan for Water Supply and Management of Wastewater and Stormwater 2030 (PENSAARP 2020-2030), a plan that aims to define a new strategy for the water supply and wastewater sanitation sector.
An analysis of the data at the regional level allows us to conclude that in 45 municipalities (or 16 percent of the national territory) the quality and safety of water is exactly 100 percent. Of these 45 municipalities, 16 are from the North region, 20 from the Centre, four from Lisbon, four from the Alentejo and one from the Algarve and according to the conclusions, not only did these municipalities carry out all the analyses required by the regulator, but they also did not show any non-compliance.
In mainland Portugal, most municipalities (81 percent) had, in 2021, percentages equal to or greater than 99 percent in terms of water quality.