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Rural Water Management

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Water Policy in Chile

Part of the book series: Global Issues in Water Policy ((GLOB,volume 21))

Abstract

In 1960, only 6% of the rural population had an adequate water supply system. At present rural water coverage has increased to 53%; however, considering only concentrated and semi-concentrated rural towns, 88% the rural population has access to water supply systems. This increase is the result of Chile’s national Rural Potable Water (APR) program, which has provided rural water infrastructure to concentrated and semi-concentrated rural towns. This infrastructure is managed by user committees or cooperatives, which operate and invest in maintenance, improvement and expansion of the systems. Over time several APR have presented problems in supplying potable water in quantity, quality and continuity. This is due to the lack of management capacity. This chapter presents an overview of Chile’s national Rural Potable Water (APR) program and identifies its actual challenges and necessary reformulations.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Minimum concentration is defined as a population of 100/150–3000 inhabitants and a concentration of at least 15 homes per kilometer in the potable water network .

  2. 2.

    Having at least 80 inhabitants and a concentration of at least eight homes per kilometer in the future network .

  3. 3.

    Since 2015, the “scattered” rural population expanded to encompass the entire rural population. A scattered rural population is defined as having at least 80 inhabitants and a concentration of at least eight homes per kilometer in the future network .

  4. 4.

    The APR committees and cooperatives organize their beneficiaries into groups and are responsible for the administration, operation, and maintenance of APR systems. They manage the APR systems’ operational, accounting, and community organization aspects.

  5. 5.

    INE does not directly define rural, but only defines it in negative terms in terms of what is not “urban”. An “urban area is defined as a group of homes with a concentration of upwards of 2000 inhabitants, or between 1001 and 2000, when 50% or more of the population is involved in secondary or tertiary economic activities. In special cases, in areas where there are centers for tourism and recreation and more than 250 homes but the population requirement is not met, these are considered as ‘urban entities.’ As such, an urban area is comprised of urban entities” (Donoso et al. 2015). Anything outside these definitions would be understood as rural (having less than 2000 homes, or having between 1001 and 2000 homes where less than 50% of the population is involved in secondary or tertiary economic activities, except for tourism and recreation centers hosting over 250 homes).

  6. 6.

    Coverage is calculated without considering the concentrated rural towns served by the program which are defined as urban according to the CASEN/INE classification.

  7. 7.

    New APR systems are always being set up so this number may change with time.

  8. 8.

    Donoso et al. (2015) states that using fixed rates allows 75% of the organizations to cover the costs of operation, maintenance, and minor repairs, and that 57% of existing systems have never undergone such improvements.

  9. 9.

    Art. 57, Law 20,998.

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Correspondence to Guillermo Donoso .

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Fuster, R., Donoso, G. (2018). Rural Water Management. In: Donoso, G. (eds) Water Policy in Chile. Global Issues in Water Policy, vol 21. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76702-4_10

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