Region IV requests more support to handle severe water shortage

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Authorities from Chile's region IV have asked the public works ministry (MOP) to truck in more water following the severe drought affecting at least 30,000 people in the area, according to local daily El Mercurio.

While MOP's water scarcity initiative - which also benefits Los Vilos and the Cogoti and Huatulame river basins - will inhibit a greater shortage of water during the summer, the area needs more water trucks, pipelines, storage tanks and resources for underground water exploration, according to Canela mayor Norman Araya.

In the town of Combarbala, for example, 60% of the 14,000 residents have no domestic potable water service, and are being supplied by four trucks that arrive once a week.

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Region IV governor Sergio Gahona said MOP is coordinating a solution with national emergency office Onemi, but that the emergency measures will be taken based solely on technical criteria.

MOP is also taking on long-term projects to curb the problem, with the construction of four reservoirs which will add 295Mm3 of water to the current water system, irrigating 32,690ha in the region, Gahona added.