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. Portugal facing worst drought in over a decade: meteorology office
LISBON (AFP) Jan 04, 2005
Many regions of Portugal, including the southernmost province of Algarve, the country's main tourism centre, are facing their worst drought in over a decade, the national meteorology office said Tuesday.

Water levels at dams and lakes are at their lowest levels in the Algarve, the southern province of Alentejo and the northwestern province of Minho, since the early 1990s, said a meteorologist with the office, Fatima Espirito Santo.

"We need Janaury to be extremely rainy, something that only happens in 20 percent of all years, in order to bring water levels to normal," she told state radio RDP.

The national weather office forecast sees no chance of rain until at least January 15.

In October Environment Minister Luis Guedes threatened the government would ration water in the Algarve, which is home to scores of golf courses, if the province did not receive enough rain by the end of 2004.

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