Central Chile drought has residents and mining companies clash over water rights (Merco Press: South Atlantic News Agency – April 7, 2020)


With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic. Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

“There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers,” Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment said.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

In the greater Santiago area and in Valparaiso, rainfall last year was almost 80% below the previous record low. In the northern region of Coquimbo it was down 90%. Water tankers serve many homes, whose inhabitants come out to fill drums.

The virus pandemic is highlighting “once more that where there is a model of the private appropriation of water … this condition does not guarantee people’s human right to water and further weakens communities,” said Mundaca.

For the rest of this article: https://en.mercopress.com/2020/04/07/central-chile-drought-has-residents-and-mining-companies-clash-over-water-rights