Chile plans to invest nearly US$5bn in irrigation projects by 2022

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chile is about to promulgate a law to boost public-private partnerships in irrigation projects as the country needs to infest US$4.87bn by 2022 to improve infrastructure and water efficiency.

National irrigation commission CNR estimated it would increase reservoirs capacity by 1,635 cubic hectometers​, canal networks by 1,000km and irrigated land by 253,000ha. The bulk of the biggest projects are focused in Chile's fourth and fifth regions, two populated areas experiencing a severe drought where water demand already exceeds supply.

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The new irrigation law would allow the government to pour money into water projects for up to 250,000 inflation-linked units UF (US$11.6mn), from the current 30,000 UF.

"The aim of this law is to promote private investment. There's a role of coordination and support from the government and there is private work and leadership in fixing problems," CNR executive director Felipe Martin said in an interview.

The full interview with Felipe Martin is available in this week's Water & Waste Perspectives, for subscribers only.