MOP and Aguas Andinas are calling for a moderate and responsible use of water during the end-of-year festivities

The hottest afternoon in the last three years was recorded in the metropolitan region on Thursday, December 15, with thermometers reading 36.6°C, according to data from the Chilean Meteorological Directorate (DMC). Similarly, the agency expects the capital to experience above-normal temperatures during the summer season and, despite having a winter with more rainfall than in 2021, we continue with a 40% deficit that keeps us in the worst water crisis in the one that is recorded in our history that has lasted for 14 consecutive years.

For this reason, today the Ministry of Public Works and Aguas Andinas launched an urgent appeal to the population to make responsible and aware use of water just before the end-of-year holidays, when consumption increases significantly. . Thus, during the holidays, the average daily consumption rises by 25% at Christmas (December 24) and up to 30% in preparation for New Year’s Eve (December 31), with peak hours between 16:00 and 22:00, and reaching a peak of 40,000 liters per second around 8pm

Thus, and to give you an idea, around 580 million liters more are consumed on New Year’s Eve than on an average day, which is equivalent to the additional consumption of 3.2 million people in one day.

The Minister of Public Works, Juan Carlos García, stressed that in view of the increase in consumption on these dates it is necessary to change the usual behaviors. “The increase in consumption at Christmas and New Year is extremely significant and we must maintain the awareness as a society that water is a scarce resource, that we still live in a permanent drought that requires everyone’s effort to be able to deal with it,” the authority said.

In addition, Minister García referred to the fact that they are currently working on a water efficiency law with which they hope to update the pricing process with the aim of encouraging households and institutions that have below average consumption to pay less of those who pass middle school.

Similarly, Eugenio Rodríguez, director of customers of the utility, has invited the inhabitants of the Metropolitan Region to “make responsible use of water due to the complex scenario of water scarcity that persists in the central area of ​​the country and which has been accompanied by intense and extensive heat waves. Especially in the hours preceding the holidays where there is an intensity of consumption concentrated in a few hours. The lack of rainfall and high temperatures are some of the effects of climate change that are reducing the availability of water in the basins. For this it is necessary that, among all of us, we adapt to this new reality, so a good alternative is to diversify and plan our activities”.

Hydraulic efficiency plan

To efficiently manage the drinking water network, Aguas Andinas has a hydraulic efficiency plan that considers new technologies and infrastructures for nearly 100 million dollars of investments, which began to be implemented in 2018. “To date, innovations such as satellite tracking, acoustic methods and tracer gas have already been put into operation to detect leaks of drinking water not visible on the surface. These new technologies allow 100% of the network to be monitored online 24/7, which corresponds to more than 13,000 kilometers (for reference, there are 10,770 km between Santiago and Madrid), through its Operational Control Center”, explained Eugenio Rodríguez.

In addition, state-of-the-art technologies have been implemented to detect leaks of drinking water not visible on the surface, for which Aguas Andinas covers more than 5,300 kilometers of land-based network every year, repairing everything that is found.

The Distribution Control Operations Center was inaugurated three years ago, with excellent results in this period: the search for and repair of leaks not visible on the surface during 2022 allowed the recovery of 620 liters per second of production, equal to consumption of 295,000 people, more than a city like Concepción.

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