United Nations projections indicate that about 90% of the Latin American population will live in cities by 2050. Currently, that proportion stands at 80%, making the region one of the most urbanized in the world.

With that pace of urbanization comes greater water consumption for industrial and domestic purposes, which today account for around 9% and 19% respectively of freshwater used in the region.

Most water (~70%) is used for agriculture, which has increased the pressure significantly on the water resources of the major Latin American cities due to the loss of woodland in recent decades.

If we add to the equation other factors such as pollution and the effects of climate change, the pressure on the region's water is even greater, leading to the risk of water shortages.

Given the growing competition between water uses, the region's industry faces considerable challenges in ensuring operations, productivity and competitiveness.

In this scenario, it is worth looking at the mining industry in the region, which has learned and developed a set of best practices for the use of water resources.

Especially in Chile, mining is making efforts to reduce water consumption and replace freshwater with seawater to ensure sustainable water resources and at the same time minimize conflicts of interest between different sectors and users.

BNamericas believes that water management in mining can act as a benchmark for other industries. Today, it is a matter of urgency to encourage businesses to assess their water risk, increase efficiency and take advantage of innovative mechanisms to compensate for consumption.


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