Chile is famous for being the longest country in the world from north to south. It means it ranges from polar to desert conditions, water being one of the main limiting factors. In fact, Chile stores a high amount of water (695 mm y−1), but people are not located in the regions where water is more abundant (e.g. in the south). This territorial imbalance is accompanied both by a global context of climate change in which water will be presumably scarcer and by the effects of the current economic activities that are progressively more demanding in water consumption. In this work, we have compared both the current and future availabilities of water for the different regions of Chile in order to provide relevant and useful information on the water balance for land planners. The Metropolitan and Valparaíso regions (Mediterranean climate) along Antofagasta, Atacama, and Tarapacá regions (desert climate) showed the lowest mean values of water availability from 1970 to 2000 (<125 m3 person y−1). In addition, both the optimistic and pessimistic projections for 2050 forecast a significant increase in the aridity of these two central regions, where the crucial axis between the two most important cities (Santiago and Valparaíso) is located.
Part of the book: Resources of Water