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Improving water quality for agriculture in Chile´s Andean highlands

The project is located in the Andean Highlands within the Lluta River Basin. The Colpitas catchment (a watershed within the Lluta) is home to a small indigenous community, and local waters are characterised by high mineral content (specifically boron and arsenic). Further downstream, approximately 1,000 agricultural workers grow crops in the Lluta Valley, a region where agriculture must be specially adapted to harsh conditions (elevations above 5,000m).

We are working to help improve water quality and make the resource suitable for irrigation and agricultural production. The project team includes engineers, hydrogeologists, and geochemists. This project will be carried out in two phases in order to determine the best method(s) for mitigating the contamination;

  • Phase 1: Identification and characterisation of contamination
  • Phase 2: Preliminary design of mitigation measures

This ongoing project brings together our water resources, hydrogeology, water quality and engineering expertise and is led from the Santiago, Chile office.

Location:Arica, Northern Chile
Client:National Water Authority, Ministry of Public Works, Government of Chile
Scope:Determine best method for mitigating naturally occurring water contamination in the Colpitas River Basin. The study will include hydrogeologic characterization, water quality monitoring, isotopic analyses, water balance studies, soil analyses, and geochemical and hydrologic modeling
Date:2013 - 2014