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Southern Cone infra and water watch

Bnamericas Published: Friday, April 22, 2022
Southern Cone infra and water watch

Chile’s constitutional convention has rejected a set of proposals from the environment and economic model committee, involving mining concessions, water rights, and environmental protection.

The proposals went back to the committee to be reworked, but leftist representatives criticized members of center-left parties, local news outlets reported. While 98 of 152 representatives voted in favor, passage required a two-thirds majority. 

Some proposals included replacing water rights and mining concessions with usage authorizations, or allowing only state companies to exploit lithium, hydrocarbons, or minerals considered of national interest. 

URUGUAY

Montevideo department rejected a proposal from the finance ministry and the local administration that would have granted access to a US$70mn loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for water and waste management investments.

The agreement obtained 18 of 31 votes, but it required a two-thirds majority since the loan’s payment period would exceed the current administration’s term, the departmental council said on its website.

Opposition arose because most resources would go toward waste management, while some council members wanted more resources for rainwater drainage, especially after the city was affected by heavy flooding earlier this year.

Governor Carolina Cosse criticized the vote and told journalists that her administration would draft another US$12mn-US$18mn water and waste management plan. The amount equals the IDB’s counterpart in the rejected plan. The new plan will be presented within less than two weeks, according to a press release. 

PARAGUAY

Works worth US$160mn to develop the coastal defenses of Pilar city, Ñeembucú department, are expected to be tendered during May, with contracts being signed by mid-year.

These works comprise phases B and C of the coastal defense program, while phase A (US$90mn) is 65.3% complete, the public works ministry (MOPC) said in press release.

Phase A, awarded to consortium CTC (Construpar, Concret Mix, TOCSA, Tecnoedil), entails building a 15km coastal wall, 22 pumping stations, and a 9km canal at the San Lorenzo stream.

Phase B involves 6km of rain water collectors, 25km of sewers and a wastewater pre-treatment plant, while Phase C includes a 5km coastal road.

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