Reported water shortage in Santiago metropolitan area – MercoPress

Chile: water shortage reported in the Santiago metropolitan region

Friday, August 6, 2021 – 07:19 UTC

“The worst drought in history,” said Minister Moreno

Chilean Minister of Public Works Alfredo Moreno admitted Thursday that the Santiago metropolitan region was going through “the worst drought in history”, resulting in “exceptional measures”.

The company Aguas Andinas – which provides drinking water and sanitation to all the municipalities of Santiago except Maipú and Cerrillos – declared itself in “preventive early warning” and called on users to make efficient use and responsible for a resource that has become scarce due to the absence of water and snow precipitation in the central zone.

Moreno explained that the vital reservoir of El Yeso is at 80% of its maximum capacity, this was only possible thanks to an efficient management of the basin, the redistribution of the resource and the collaborative work between the company and the canalistas. from the first section of the Maipo River.

In addition to calling for responsible use of water, Aguas Andinas has activated various actions in its operation, mobilizing resources in accordance with its emergency protocols and activating business continuity plans that minimize the risk of restrictions for them. citizens.

Moreno said “this is the worst drought in history; in July it rained 0.6 mm, and we had no snow accumulation. We even have worse indicators than in 2019. For this reason, we are working with wastewater treatment companies with exceptional measures in the face of hyperdrought. Thanks to the various works carried out by Aguas Andinas, such as the Padre Hurtado factory and the Cerro Negro-Lo Mena Pozos, as well as the collaborative work with the irrigators, we are now better prepared to face this situation.

Aguas Andinas planning director Cristián Schwerter said preventive early warning seeks to anticipate and protect the metropolitan region’s drinking water supply. “The situation in which we live is complex, since it hardly rained this winter. Therefore, we have activated our preventive early warning [protocol] associated with the Emergency Drought Plan, which aims to warn of the state of scarcity highlighted by surface sources and thus lift the alerts to promote a more efficient and responsible use of water, but it does not represent no impact on the drinking water service that citizens receive. “

He added that “the current state of the El Yeso reservoir is good news, but we are aware that we cannot give up and we must continue to deploy all the investments, looking for new alternatives of sources of water. ‘supply and activating all the long-term projects that allow us to face not only this summer, but also in the periods to come, as the forecasts indicate that the drought will continue to hit us.

Among the emergency plans is the reuse of treated water in biowas, giving a second life to the water and a more efficient use of the resource for purposes such as agriculture, industry and irrigation. large green spaces.

Aguas Andinas is one of the largest sanitation companies in Latin America, serving more than 8 million inhabitants and with a total of more than 71,000 hectares of concession. It is controlled by the Spanish group Agbar, which also controls Aguas Cordillera and Aguas Manquehue.

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