Potosí governor adds steam to Chile water use dispute

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bolivia's Potosí department governor Félix Gonzales claims that neighboring Chile is using a higher volume of water from springs in the department's northern region than previously recorded.

"There are several that we are identifying, and based on this we're going to make it known to international press that they take our waters. Silala is one case, and there are other places that we are identifying," state news agency ABI quoted Gonzáles as saying.

The landlocked country is involved in a century-old dispute with Chile over the use of the Silala waters, which Bolivia claims originate from springs in its territory.

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Chile has been using around 14,000l/s of the Silala waters for the last 105 years, arguing that they form a binational river that is governed by international law.

Bolivia is currently drawing up a plan to better safeguard its border with Chile. Plans also include construction of a reservoir and the development of fish-farming projects with help from the nearby Quetena Chico community.