During the last decades, the Copiapó river basin has experimented a significant economic growth. The main causes of this growth are the expansion of a modern agricultural sector based on the high profit production of products for exportations, and the boom and development of a mining industry based on the exploitation of old and new deposits. This has generated an explosive and growing demand for water in the basin, fundamentally based on the exploitation of water resources of the valley.
However, due to the hydrometeorological condition of aridity in the region where the Copiapó basin is located, and due to the over assignment of water rights, water supply has not been able to satisfy all the demand, including that of drinkable water for the population. This difference in supply and demand has turned water use and sustainability in the zone critical, and has provoked social tension amongst the community.
Currently, from its global experience, CSIRO can deliver answers from applied science to generate spaces of better governance and water management that consider local needs and the development of world class technological tools.