A coastal town in the district of Porto, Póvoa de Varzim, with about 65 thousand inhabitants, is one of the most recognised bathing areas in the Northern Region of Portugal. With extensive sand (more than 12 km long), easily accessible and with a unique texture, a sea rich in iodine and a coast full of welcoming bays, it is a tourist attraction pole without parallel in the region.
Main environmental challenges faced by the city
Climate change is currently one of the greatest environmental threats. The climate projections for Póvoa de Varzim point to a potential decrease in total annual precipitation and for a potential increase in temperatures, an increase in the frequency of heatwaves and the occurrence of extreme phenomena with events of intense and/or very intense precipitation. The effects of climate change can be particularly senses in coastal zones. Rising sea levels alter the shape of coastal lines, contribute to coastal erosion and can cause flooding and further intrusion saltwater groundwater.
NBS implemented or planned
The lake in Póvoa de Varzim urban park has registered for the first time in 2017 an exponential growth of algae, which seriously affected the quality of the lake’s water and the animal species. This was increased by the rising temperatures and the decrease in the renewal of the lake water, due to the decrease in the contribution of water from the streams that flow into the lake. Therefore, the City Council has designed and implemented, with the support of a specialized company, an intervention based on the use of beneficial environmental microorganisms, which decompose the excessive organic matter, reducing its availability for algae, limiting its growth. In addition, the team responsible for this project has developed a new additional measure that aims to reduce the occurrence of algae blooms through nutrient sequestration by the implementation of phytoremediation islands. This measure is still under development and is expected to be implemented during this year.