Millions of residents in Santiago were left high and quite literally dry in recent weeks by a series of water service cuts that some Chilean citizens groups and politicians are calling a wakeup call to the perils of privatization.
The first of the disruptions hit the Chilean capital between Jan. 21-22 after flooding from a heavy rainstorm flushed copious amounts of sediment into the Río Maipo, Santiago’s principal source of drinking water. The event forced Aguas Andinas, the city’s primary waterworks company, to temporarily shut three of its treatment plants and thus cut the water supply to an estimated 2 million residents. Complicating matters was the timing of the problem – at the height of the southern summer. Between December and March, daytime temperatures in Santiago regularly top 30˚C (86˚F). Read the rest of this entry ?