Chilean delegates visit Australia for water strategy tips

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Chilean delegates visit Australia for water strategy tips

Chilean officials are in Australia studying the country's canals and reservoir networks to see if  they can replicate the same system to help avoid droughts.

Chile has been experiencing rising temperatures in the north and a lack of rain have intensified drought conditions.

The delegation is looking at innovative technologies in Australia to strengthen its own national long-term water development strategy.

National Irrigation Commission (CNR) executive secretary Felipe Martin, described Australia's network as impressive.

"Our country has a backlog of 50 years in terms of hydraulic works. While Australia has a storage capacity of 15,000 hectometers, we in Chile have only only 4,200 hectometers of reservoirs."

Martin said the state of Victoria had a matrix of 8,000 kilometers of canals allowing water transfer from one territory to the other and increasing efficiency from 75% to 85% as well as saving water.

He said the initiative could be replicated in Chile, allowing transfer of unused water from the center and south to the north of the country.

Martin said the government is currently studying the feasibility of a project, dubbed 'Acquatacama', which would involve water supply through undersea pipelines from river mouths.

The delegation, led by the CNR, comprises representatives from the National Directorate of Water, Ministry of Public Works, the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development

Agricultural representatives from the VI (O'Higgins) and VII (Maule) regions, the National Agricultural Society and sanitation and water management experts from the Chilean Chamber of Construction, also made up the party.

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Photo: Australian Government

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