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Area expert and creator of multiple studies presented at the University of La Serena before a large number of social leaders, about this real option for areas affected by the lack of water resources.

Nanofiltration opens up as a viable option to alleviate and face the drought that affects different areas of the Coquimbo Region. This was announced by Dr. Ingeniero, from the University of Concepción, Rodrigo Bórquez, who presented to more than 300 people who attended the Seminar "Water and Development: a challenge for local actors", organized by the University of La Serena and the Association of Rural Municipalities of Norte Chico.

water4As indicated by the expert, this technique that is used in the purification of water, not only potable, seeks the elimination of organic substances, which encourages the reuse of the resource and delivers solutions to those who use water in different productive activities , so to think about this intervention in times of drought, it would be the solution for thousands of people who today, in the Coquimbo Region, describe the situation as catastrophic and a critical state tragedy.

The academic, who has studied the recovery of components, desalination of seawater and brackish waters, gave details of the technology of semipermeable membranes, as well as the options that small farmers and farmers have, of associating and being able to carry out the installation of pumps that generate this type of solution, which would give hope to those who today expect help from the State, through the different agencies that face what has been classified as the worst drought in Chile in many years .

The academic said that the first unit that was built to desalinate water was made in 2012 year and was used in Llico, and then moved to Lake Vichuquén, to implement the technique by osmosis. Then it was the turn of the commune of Arauco and thus sectors have been added, which shows that it can be done in the face of an adverse situation with respect to water and with the support of the State.

How to access these pumps? According to the expert, the best way is to apply for a direct project to the SUBDERE, supported by the municipality to which the affected sector belongs, applying through the neighborhood improvement area.

water2“The best they could do is that the municipalities where the affected communities are present it as a viable project through the SECPLAC and rely on the studies we have done. We are willing to help in this area and we have the experience, from the academy we have carried out applied research and it has given results ”, said Dr. Bórquez, who opened up to the full possibility of being able to help with the technology that he adapted to the use of water and its reuse.

The desalination of brackish water - not only from the sea - is an option to supply sectors with water for irrigation; On a large scale it is a process of high monetary costs, however, the option provided by Dr. Bórquez is a solution that could supply a whole group of families, for undoubtedly lower figures, without reaching the need for the transfer of animals to save them from starvation, as is being done in the region, where the San Juan mountain range, Argentina, has been the momentary solution.

Today the community is seriously concerned and the Government has established extremely urgent measures to alleviate the situation. According to figures provided by INDAP, the mass of livestock losses exceeds 50%, therefore, using technologies for the benefit of those directly affected is a hope for those who face how the internal climate variability and impact Human in climate change has wreaked havoc on what was once a fruitful valley.

3 waterThe presentation of the researcher and chemical engineer was given in the context of discussion of different panels where social leaders, experts from the PROMMRA ULS, CEAZA and CAZALAC, Senator Adriana Muñoz, the Seremi de Mining, Roberto Vega, and the mayor of Combarbalá, participated. Pedro Castillo, among other guests who participated in the Seminar, held at the University of La Serena.

A space for reflection on water scarcity

On the development of this Seminar, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Postgraduate of the ULS, Dr. Eduardo Notte, stressed: “for us it is practically a civic and social duty to hold this type of conversation in our house of studies due to the role we play in The academy and research. It is essential for the contribution and development of public policies based on scientific studies, on the generation and delivery of knowledge as an educational partner, and in this case as a partner in the technical and scientific diagnosis ”.

On the other hand, since the co-organization of the Association of Rural Municipalities of Norte Chico, the mayor of Combarbalá, Pedro Castillo, emphasized that “the objective of this seminar was to propose a reflection, as Mr. Vice Chancellor said, regarding the progress that have generated studies and academy regarding the water of the Coquimbo Region, we speak with a vision of the future regarding drinking water, water in multiple scenarios and in conflict situations such as the discussion of profound changes to the water code ” .

See the presentations of the first block:

See the presentations of the second block:

Written by Patricia Castro (DirCom) and Jenifer Araya (DIVEULS)