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Chile's water regulator SISS, the interior ministry, national emergencies office ONEMI and representatives from 31 municipalities of Santiago's metropolitan region signed an agreement with utility Aguas Andinas to secure the drinking water supply during weather-related and other emergencies.
Earlier this year, the utility came under fire after heavy rains caused massive water service cuts in capital Santiago.
Under the plan, 161 water trucks would be deployed and 531 distribution centers would be made available if an emergency affects supply. The plan would triple the current emergency water capacity, the regulator said.
ONEMI will coordinate its emergency alerts with Aguas Andinas to prepare a response to forecast weather events.
Aguas Andinas service management director Eugenio Rodríguez said the company is executing a US$100mn investment plan to reinforce its existing infrastructure. That includes increasing the metropolitan region's water autonomy to 34 hours from the current 9 by 2019. "A service cut would only happen when a phenomenon exceeds all forecasts," Rodríguez said.
SISS head Ronaldo Bruna said that the agreement "generates a more resilient emergency response model."
Some of the investments Aguas Andinas is currently carrying out include nine water tanks in the Peñalolén, La Reina, La Florida, La Pintana and Puente Alto districts, which will have a combined capacity of 54,500m3.