Water Efficiency in the Atacama Region

Water Efficiency in the Atacama Region: Evaluation of gaps identified in light of our international experience

Finances: CORFO Atacama
Start date: February 2016
Extension: 3 months


/ In the frame of the “Regional Strategic Program for Sustainable Intelligent Specialization of Sustainable Basins” of CORFO, CSIRO Chile carried out a project that applies the benchmarking exercise to the differences identifies in a study done by the Universidad de Chile, regarding international cases, to verify and validate those results. The study was seeking to identify and prioritize the differences that existe in the different economic sector of the Atacama region, regarding water efficiency.

The benchmarking study developed by CSIRO Chile consideres certain cases that were selected considering regions with similar climate conditions and similar economic activities, in order to provide validity to the results.

The countries chosen to compare the practices regarding water efficiency in the Atacama Region were Australia, Israel, Spain and the United States (California). Following a structure from a report of the Universidad de Chile (2016), this study carried out a comparison of water consumption and the measures taken to improve water efficiency for each sector that was analyzed individually: transversal, mining, agriculture, sanitary and communities.

The specific objectives for this project are:

  • Identify the best international practices in matter of water efficiency that allow the following creation of new competitive advantages in the Atacama region, specifically focused on the technological components.
  • Quantitively compare the actual management of water resources in medium mining of the Atacama Region regarding the identified international and homologous practices

In service to the Regional Strategic Program of CORFO

This benchmarking projects seeks to support the Regional Strategic Program that CORFO has implemented since 2015 in the area, and which has as objective to promote a Water Enabling Platform for sustainability and economic development through the construction of a public-private alliance around the basins of El Salado, Copiapó and Huasco, which will generate bridges and joint work among the mining, agricultura and sanitary service sector, in order to achieve fresh water availability that is not a restriction for investment and growth in Atacama.

Furthermore, the Program has as vision to:

Transform Atacama to an international role model in water efficiency matters, considering the R&D capabilities, technological transfer, the development and attraction of advances human capital, the promotion of strategic investment and the implementation of better water management practices.


Download the report
Water Efficiency in the Atacama Region
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