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AGUA DE PRATA - Adaptation and Watering in Green Urban Areas facing Climatic Heat Waves, Drought and Extreme Storms

Reference: LIFE17 CCA/PT/000076 | Acronym: LIFE AGUA DE PRATA



As a consequence of climate change, the Alentejo region in Portugal is suffering from a range of problems: decreasing annual precipitation levels; more frequent and intense droughts; substantial increases to annual maximum temperatures (up 6°C in summer months); increased number of days with temperatures above 35°C; increased heat wave frequency and intensity; and increases in heavy rainfalls. Évora's green areas are currently supplied with surface water sources, but these are expected to become increasingly scarce. Silvery water (Agua de Prata) is the name of a Roman aqueduct that supplied the city with water from underground sources. It was last rebuilt in 1533 but is now since unused historical feature.


The project LIFE AGUA DE PRATA aims to tackle some of the water scarcity challenges faced by the region by sustainably re-using water from the Graça do Divor wells and springs, which were previously sources for an aqueduct. Using these underground sources will help transform water supply for irrigation and will lead to annual savings of treated surface water of around 120 000 m³. Thus the threat of water shortages for other use will be reduced.

The project also aims to adapt the aqueduct so it serves as a distribution system able to supply the water needs for around 50% the town’s green areas. Nature-based solutions and ecosystem approaches will also be applied to these areas to improve their ability to withstand heat waves and extreme rainfall. Additionally, the project will promote water efficiency and energy saving measures, including a range of measures for small gardens. The project will contribute to the municipal’s strategy for adaptation to climate change, as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the Floods Directive.

Expected results:

  • Improved and sustainable uptake and use of underground water, saving up to 120 000 m³ of surface water per annum;
  • Increased shading by 10 100m², which will increase as the trees grow, and the improvement of microclimate conditions within the urban green areas of évora;
  • Improved flood resilience in 45.2% of the urban green areas, amounting to 187 517m²;
  • Increased resilience of streams to extreme rainfall, covering a stretch of 1 800 m;
  • Reduction of around 2.16 tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually through the reduced use of water pumping in green areas resulting in energy saving around 21 300kW a year;
  • Further reduction in water consumption as a result of implementing water-efficiency measures for irrigation, resulting in water saving of 30 000 m³ per year;
  • Replication of the project actions during the project’s lifetime in one other local level system;
  • Transfer of the actions taken in the public areas to private gardens;
  • Dissemination of technical solutions to the other 41 Portuguese municipalities that are engaged in climate adaptation;
  • Change in the use of water by 35% of ‘urban farmers’ by promoting water-efficient and climate-adapted irrigation; and
  • 50 local residents engaged in continuous monitoring of the micro-climatic conditions.


    Reference: LIFE17 CCA/PT/000076
    Start Date: 01/07/2018
    End Date: 30/06/2026
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,287,803 €
    EU Contribution: 772,681 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Município de évora
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Praça de Sertório, 7004-506, ÉVORA,
    Contact Person: Joaquim Costa
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

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    • Resilient communities


    • biodiversity
    • urban area
    • water resources management
    • climate change adaptation
    • drought
    • flood control
    • nature-based solutions


    • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
    • COM(2012)673 -"A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources"
    • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
    • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)
    • COM(2013) 249 final “Communication from the Commission on Green Infrastructure (GI) - Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital” (06.05.2013)
    • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020” (03.05.2011)


    Name Type
    Município de Évora Coordinator
    None Participant