translated from Spanish: Water scarcity and nature-based solutions

This October 2, on National Environment Day, we must reflect on the harsh reality experienced by the most isolated rural areas of the south of our country that still do not have access to drinking water and that, paradoxically, have less rainfall deficit, but lack the necessary capacity to take advantage of the resource.
We need to implement innovation in more remote places, which do not require large resources, are easy to install and manage by the same communities. There are nature-based solutions, such as rainwater harvesting systems, that are installed on the roofs of homes and schools in vulnerable communities. Its purpose is to provide an alternative source of drinking water in an efficient and sustainable way.
We have worked in various rural areas with different innovative solutions, so we know it is possible to do so. We have installed in the commune of Lumaco an initiative that benefited 40 families and four social headquarters, belonging to 7 Mapuche communities of the Reñico and Quetrahue sectors. Also, in Caucahué Island, located in the Chiloé archipelago, near the town of Quemchi, we improved the quality of life of a community made up of 16 families, who until the realization of this project, did not have drinking water despite being a place where the problem had nothing to do with water scarcity, but with the isolation and lack of infrastructure, which affects the continuity of this resource for the community.
It is important the previous work to analyze in depth the reality of each territory and community to find the best solution. The initiatives implemented allow to obtain drinking water through the collection and treatment of rainwater, which fits very well to the characteristics of the area. We must dare to innovate and articulate with different actors to face the scarcity of this resource, especially in the most vulnerable areas.
Public policies must incorporate innovation because the technology exists and is available to be implemented. There is only a lack of will to do so with a sense of urgency, since there are more than 1 million Chileans who still do not have access to drinking water and who cannot continue waiting.

The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.

Original source in Spanish

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