Chile’s capital fortifies tap water after 13 years of drought: ‘Climate change is permanent’ | climate

Chile's capital fortifies tap water after 13 years of drought: 'Climate change is permanent' |  climate

13 years of drought have led to drastic measures in Santiago, the capital of Chile in South America. The governor says tap water should be rationed because the water in the rivers from which the city gets its water is alarmingly low.

Santiago Governor Claudio Origo announced the water rationing plan for the city of about 6 million people at a press conference: “A city cannot live without water. We are in an unprecedented situation in Santiago’s 481-year history, a situation that must We prepare in it for the fact that there is not enough water for everyone. ”

It shows that the city presents a system of four color codes, from green to red, that are adjusted according to the water level of the Maipo and Mapocho rivers. These rivers provide most of Santiago’s tap water, but water flows through them are significantly less in recent years. The areas to which these codes apply must be rotated, so that each area eventually gets additional water.

At the first level, the responsibility will still rest with the citizens, and there will be basic requests from the city government to reduce water use. When the codes become more severe, the board may decide to reduce the water pressure, or even eventually shut down the water. Orrego explains that with the red color code, there is a significant shortage of water in the reservoirs. In this scenario, the city plans to significantly reduce water in a given area in periods of up to 24 hours. It is not clear how much will come out of the faucet.

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The capacity of the La Boca dam in Santiago last March was just 10 percent, the lowest in years. © AFP

Climate change

The governor directly attributes the actions to climate change: “It is important for people to understand that climate change is permanent. The impacts are not only noticeable at the global level, but also at the local level.” british newspaper Watchman He writes that the Chilean government estimates that the amount of water in Chile has declined between 10 and 37 percent in recent years.

Last week, the UN Climate Panel, the IPCC, called for drastic measures to combat the effects of climate change. Much needs to change, and it can be done in time before there are dire consequences, according to scientists from around the world who participated in the panel. They had a clear message: A far-reaching shift is needed, otherwise we will see as many extreme weather events as Chile.

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